‘Influence peddling’ a future news revenue stream?

If you’re in the news business online guru Kevin Kelly has news for you. Forget how you used to make your living delivering scoops. Make yourself valuable in new and more personal ways or else perish he suggests in Better than Free.

With that in mind Paid Content reports that the Financial Times has created a $3,300-a-year Executives Forum “where members can “maintain contact with peers and luminaries …  and to stay in touch with the key issues facing fellow members.”

The 140-year-old FT is the Wall Street Journal of the United Kingdom.

And now this journalistic icon has set up a VIP lounge. Critics might call this influence peddling but not me. The rich and powerful have always had influence, undue influence if you prefer. I see no reason not to monetize that fact.

Moreover the grassroots influence on the news is growing. It’s the interactivity, stupid! Online readers can comment on stories, contribute citizen-generated content and spark trends. Technology is making media into better mirrors.

 In time new webs site will become portals for the people. Comments and citizen journalism will create a bubbling up effect. Journalists will actually build the public forum that has so far existed only in their imaginations.

But first journalism must survive. So let’s wish the FT luck. If they can nick corporate Peter to subsidize populist Paul so can we.