The J-Minus Model: Can Digital-Media Outfits Survive Without Journalists in Their Newsrooms?

21 January 2015
David Sim/Creative Commons
David Sim/Creative Commons

In the late 1980s, Taco Bell, a fast-food chain then owned by the beverage giant PepsiCo, hit upon a supply-chain strategy that would have a profound impact on the global Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry.

Under what was dubbed the K-Minus programme, Taco Bell eliminated the kitchen from its restaurants. The food, normally at the core of a restaurant business, was outsourced to vendors so that Taco Bell could save on labour cost, overheads and retail space, to focus fully on delighting the customers by serving them re-heated fajitas. Today, most fast food chains around the world and in India employ the K-Minus model.

This pollen from the fast-food business has fertilised a new breed of digital-media products that have eagerly embraced newsrooms without journalists as part of the J-minus model.

TR Vivek  has worked with the Economic TimesOpen and Outlook. He was associated with as a co-founder. He is the co-author of IPLCricket and Commerce: An Inside story. He is currently based in Hyderabad.