On World Press Freedom Day on 3. May, 2016
Text: Joachim Ritter
The digital times we live in entail many new challenges for us all. The media world is also – or especially – facing the basic question as to how independent and high-quality editorial content can be financed without becoming directly involved in the interests of some of the larger companies. This also applies to the lighting sector.
Increasingly more articles compiled by manufacturers and clearly representing their particular perception of the world are finding their way into print media and online platforms and are frequently not included or posted for free. On the other hand, advertisers are reducing their budgets dramatically, or are using them to produce their own print media. Advertising content that is clearly and recognisably separated from editorial content is on the decrease, or appears in the form of a banner on different Internet platforms. Posted in the form of a video on our Homepage this can indeed be seen as a new and exciting way of marketing, but barely contributes to the revenue required to be able to finance independent journalism. The reader tends to presume that editorial content is independent, even though realistically speaking it is barely possible to realise this within the budgets available.
Professional Lighting Design does not pursue the concept of selling space for delivered editorial content from the industry without clearly marking it as such, even if this means having to deal with increasing economic pressure. As an independent editor, I am of the firm conviction that professional journalism also has the responsibility to monitor information. Forfeiting independence can be a long, drawn-out process. The restriction of all freedom is then not that big a step away, as we have seen from different examples over the last few weeks.
That said, as a company VIA-Verlag also cannot survive without income from clearly recognisable advertising – not from selling space for delivered editorial content, I hasten to add, which I regard purely as scripted and unedited press releases.
If you, as an independent lighting designer, also believe in the importance of the free press and media and would like to express your solidarity, please feel free to do so. If you wish to remain anonymous, you are welcome to send me a personal e-mail to indicate your support. And if you would simply like to show that you do appreciate high-quality advertising, take another look at the PLD homepage.
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