Can you still trust me?
Sidestepping the obvious issue of whether anyone should have trusted me in the first place, my response is this: Once you know where I am coming from, you can decide how much to credit anything I say in the future.
I wholeheartedly stipulate that my interest in working with newspaper publishers on a possible commercial project exposes me to potential conflicts of interest. But I felt I had no other choice.
Just as a news photographer should drop his camera to rescue a child from a burning building if no one else is around, I felt obliged to contribute what I believe is a constructive solution to the revenue crisis that threatens the future of journalism.
If my idea works, I might make some money. I am not allergic to that. And I won’t apologize for trying.
Now that I have moved from observer to participant in some of the discussions that may shape the future of the media business, I reserve the right to offer my thinking – like other businessmen who write op-ed pieces from time to time – on how to solve the devilish problem of charging for valuable content after giving it away for free for the last 15 years.
One thing I will never do, however, is to reveal the private conversations I have with publishers or other partners. Their business activities are not mine to discuss.
When I write about something in the future, you will get the best of all possible worlds. In addition to already knowing what my biases are and where my interests lie, you will benefit from the insights (but not the proprietary information) that I gain in my work.
This standard of transparency ought to be common in the media, in the business world, in government and in other elements of our society. You may not always find it there. But that’s what you’ll get here.