Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another Sign of the Times—Get Ready to Pay Up for Online News

By Cathy Wright
In addition to paying rent or a mortgage, paying for groceries, health insurance, school and gas, we’re getting closer and closer to having to also shell out for access to online news. The reason: newspapers around the world are declining in revenues or worse, folding altogether. The Internet is partly at fault for the decline, but the slumping economy and sharp dip in advertising is sure to blame as well.
Media moguls such as News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch and others are getting noisy about this issue and ready to shut it down and start collecting for what they view as missed revenue. In August, Mr. Murdoch told the world he plans to eventually charge for online access to content for all News Corp. publications, including The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The Times in London, and the Daily Telegraph. The charge would either be levied direct to readers via access subscriptions or to companies distributing News Corp. content on their Websites.
And to stir the pot even more, Mr. Murdoch also revealed News Corp was considering blocking Google from being able to search its newspaper websites. Executives from the likes of Twitter and Yahoo are now weighing in. After enjoying free access to news all these years, it’s going to be painful to suddenly pay up for something that we’ve come to expect for free. It’s like suddenly being charged a toll to walk down the street or charged to hang out with friends. Stay tuned!
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Anonymous said...

I just read that the BBC is not going to charge for news. Good luck, Mr. Murdoch, you will need it.


Julie said...

Publications are only relevant if people read them. Charging for content and putting restrictions on where articles are republished/picked up will only limit reach (and the paper's influence.) I imagine editors will not be thrilled about the idea that their articles will be read by a much smaller audience...

Daniel said...

Hah! Good luck with that idea. Bloggers already do the "news work" for free. Who cares if the major news sources do down in flames. They are often pushing their own agenda and ignoring "real" news anyway. That's quite a laugh... I hope he tries that.