A prominent news agency newsflash network—Central European News (CEN), AsiaWire, and Clipzilla—stopped news publication after illness from financial difficulties. The founder, Michael Leidig, who has blamed the growth of AI-generated content and the shrinkage of commissioning budgets, is taking over the newsrooms in the city to help teach young journalists the ropes. At one point, […]

A prominent news agency newsflash network—Central European News (CEN), AsiaWire, and Clipzilla—stopped news publication after illness from financial difficulties. The founder, Michael Leidig, who has blamed the growth of AI-generated content and the shrinkage of commissioning budgets, is taking over the newsrooms in the city to help teach young journalists the ropes. At one point, the business had 30 people on the payroll and was doing business throughout the world, but revenues had fallen a long way, and with it came the realization that the business model was

Financial challenges and industry trends

Leidig revealed that company monthly revenues dropped to £25,000, which was way below the £47,000 projected to defray operational costs. He said some of the commission rates from the national newspapers, in some cases, dated back to the 1980s and were hamstringing the agency from doing original journalism. Furthermore, Lejsond found that magazines usually preferred the written to the visual content and further devalued the news stories.

The emergence of newsroom AI was a new challenge for traditional news agencies: most of the publications were generated by automated content production. Leidig commiserated that many editors gave the impression the stories were merely carrying the pictures and not vice versa—the mise-en-scene for the photojournalistic narrations. Another issue was that AI technology empowered publications to reproduce news stories independently, adding more financial burden to news agencies.

Industry response and prospects

Jon Harris, chairman of the UK National Association of Press Agencies, accepted that the news agencies face immense challenges. He underlined that immediate reforms in the whole set-up are the need of the hour. Leidig has suggested an innovative model by which the seemingly languishing news agencies may be re-established with cryptocurrency.

His initiative, NewsX, seeks to provide a viable, decentralized alternative medium for freelance journalists, breaking the current conventional distribution chains of the media today. NewsX is a community interest company that is turning toward cryptocurrencies to finance independent journalism in light of breaking free from the revenue models controlled by big companies.

It is meant to be a memecoin hosted on the Solana blockchain, which allows journalists to represent themselves by working with media partners. Leidig seeks to open a network of reporters dedicated to the UK courts to ensure the legal system in the country is open and accountable.

Continued advocacy

Leidig never stopped advocating for journalistic integrity, even after the closure of the news agencies he had been in charge of. He chairs Quis Custodiet, an alternative press regulator needed to battle complaints by unregulated publishers. One can say that Leidig’s endeavors are consistent in chasing the changing dynamics of the industry and journalistic standards.

 The news agency network is closing down, further underlining traditional media’s massive challenges in the new digital age. That means stakeholders at all levels should be thinking about how to bring innovation if journalism is to find sustainability in a shifting market. These pioneering efforts by Leidig are testimony to the proactive response against such a challenge. In a way, they serve as a sneak peek into the near future of media distribution.

Original Story From https://pressgazette.co.uk/publishers/wires_and_agencies/news-agency-employing-30-calls-time-due-to-falling-publisher-budgets/