Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Paying for the news

The New York Times has made another stab at putting online content behind a paywall, striving to be the one to start the push back toward people paying for the same journalism that they were willing to pay for in the days when we got stained fingers from the newsprint. Of course, the only reason that people nowadays lack the association of paying for online content is because there's so much of it available for free, and perhaps because years ago these sources of professional content underestimated the role the internet would come to play in our daily lives and started giving it away, figuring it was merely a way to promote their paper editions.

While there's always going to be those who will find the ways around a paywall, just as there's those who still download music illegally, there will eventually come a time when paying for quality journalism online will be as simple as it is to download music through legal sites such as iTunes, and it will become standard for people to pay to get at content. (We all adopted the cable TV model, where we simply accept the need to pay monthly to get our channels, rather than getting a free signal through antennae.) And there will then grow up a generation who will be baffled at the notion of getting someone's hard work for free.

Or journalism will have run out of money and we'll get the news through amateur videos on YouTube.

That's a likely possibility as well.

I guess we'll see in due time.


  1. The NYT failed once to get people to pay for their content. They'll fail again, I think. Basically, the NYT's junk isn't worth paying for.

  2. So, pray tell, Marvin, what IS worth paying for?

  3. From what I read, the paywall isn't really a paywall. It's more like a fence with gaps. There are ways of still getting free articles online from NYT.

    Speaking of payment -- what's your take on those bloggers slaving for nothing at the Huffington Post while Arianna rakes in the big $ with the AOL deal?


So, what do you think?