The Future of Business Publishing

Jul 25, 2020

2 min read

Paperwork Studios is not a radical company. It is not built on a groundbreaking new idea or a disruptive new technology. Paperwork Studios is built on the back of two simple premises.

  1. Journalism can create value for evidence-driven decision-makers.
  2. Journalists can create more value when they understand decisions faced by their readers.

Make no mistake, journalists — no matter how effective they are or how much integrity they possess — aren’t exempt from economics. And nowhere has this become more clear than within the Hobbesian confines of modern media, where reader attention is commodified and picked over by publishers ravenous from declining ad revenue and ever-increasing competition. Within this environment, journalists are taught to use their tool to command that attention, not earn it. They are incentivized to create value, but for their employers rather than for their readers because those are different things.

This is true in consumer media. This is true in business media. This is true in b2b media. And it’s an eminently solvable problem — just not for legacy players built grow rather than serve audiences.

At Paperwork Studios, we staff niche business publications with expert journalists paid to serve finite communities of executives overlooked or undercovered by traditional business outlets. By replacing the damaging and abstract idea of “audience” with relevant executives — paying and potential subscribers alike — we ensure that our journalists use their tool in service of providing information, industry intelligence, and insight to a clear constituency.

Liberated from the demand to grow their audiences beyond the confines of an addressable market and empowered to focus on providing actionable coverage, our journalists create value in the form of definitive daily publications for working professionals.

If our methods aren’t radical, the results are. By building publications with a focus on reader value, we create the necessary conditions for real relationships between journalists and their constituencies. Readers of Paperwork Studios publications become not only consumers of information unavailable elsewhere and sources of industry insight, but thought partners and part-time assigning editors. They are, in short, involved in the process such that the product suits their needs.

The radical result of fundamentally simple approach is that journalists become far more effective purveyors of information. They report. They facilitate connection. They embed within industries and, using content creation to foment community conversation, become catalysts and drivers of industry change.

Which brings us back to the first of our two premises. Journalism can create value. This is not only true, but doubly and triple-y true when publications put reader experience back at the core of their business.