Forbes Media‘s Lewis DVorkin may seem an unlikely potential saviour for the newspaper industry, reports The Guardian. Yet after years working as a writer and editor at some of America’s best-known publications, he is now as close as anyone to finding a new sustainable business model for advertising-supported journalism.
Over the past three years he has pioneered and refined a controversial system in which contributors get paid according to traffic and, in what may seem like heresy, advertisers pay to write editorial.
Such is its success at transforming Forbes magazine and its website, forbes.com, that DVorkin is now paraded around the conference circuit in America as a kind of digital guru, having seen digital revenues shoot up 20 per cent in the past year and traffic double in two-and-a-half years to just under 25m uniques a month.
It all started in 2010 when Forbes threw its website open to bloggers, academics and experts from all sorts of areas relating to investing and entrepreneurship.