Public Interest vs. Private Access: Monetizing Content to Keep Newspapers Afloat

By: Sara Lasseter

After the New York Times released its exposé on the Wal-Mart bribery investigation in April 2012, a sum of $12 billion was erased from the grocery store’s market value. While the story had a significant impact on the market for Wal-Mart and Walmex, the New York Times deliberately released the story over the weekend to deter any accusations of insider trading or private access. This story gained widespread attention for its sensitive market information and prompted many discussions on the idea of selling early access to interested parties.

But this poses a controversial question: What is the purpose of a newspaper? Newspapers began as purely profit-making entities that sold any and all stories to generate revenue. A shift toward news motivated by public interest began in the 1960s and 70s due to events like Watergate that prompted newspapers to become public institutions that existed to uphold certain principles for the good of society. Today, public value of ever-present and instantaneous news has created an “entitled and expectant” environment for the print media industry that makes it difficult to implement any major frontrunner services without a substantial amount of backlash.

Critics say that offering market-moving information at a price to hedge funds and investors plays against public interest, but could there be a beneficial side to selling these facts at a fee? Publications like the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones wire have begun to offer paid subscriptions for readers who wish to access market-moving information sooner than it is published in the newspaper or posted online. Some opponents think a move like this would be considered insider trading, while others say as long as there is no personal gain of the party disseminating the information, then it is completely legal. The court case of Dick vs. SEC 1983 established that a lack of personal benefit in trading eliminates the risk of insider trading. Neither the NYT nor Wal-Mart sources would have had any personal gain from releasing this story early to interested parties, therefore, both would be free from insider trading accusations. Continue reading

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho – It’s Off to Work We Go!

Let’s face it, there are some days where we just don’t want to get up and go to work – you are lying if you say otherwise. Other than those few days a year, I will say that I genuinely enjoy coming to work at our funky little offices. Why? I love the people that I work with! We are like a family here. We look out for each other, and support each other at and outside the office.  In fact, compared with the company culture at other small businesses (and corporate organizations) we almost live in a protective bubble.

At Ketner Group, we also have a stellar track-record of employee retention and we are very loyal to the business.  This is not the industry norm.  According to a recent WebProNews article, gone are the days when we started a job after college and worked our way up the ladder until we retire at age 65. According to the article, “Not only do we have more jobs in our lifetime than any other generation before us, but we also plan to not stay in our positions.” A recent MetLife report found that only 44% of employees feel a strong sense of loyalty towards their employers and that over one-third of employees just flat-out want a different job.

If only all companies had the same protective bubble as we do at Ketner Group. Still, after reading these reports, I became intrigued.  How can people “job hop” like that?  I always thought having job after job listed on a resume was a negative thing – but is it really becoming the norm and acceptable? Check out these stats I found from

  • Today’s average college graduate will hold 9.8 jobs, working until age 65. In California, that same graduate will hold 14.3 jobs.
  • The median number of years that an average U.S. worker has been at their job – 4.4.
  • Average jobs in a lifetime for men – 11.4.
  • Average jobs in a lifetime for women – 10.7.
  • 61% of employed workers are open to or are looking for a new job. Continue reading