Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's Time To Make Readers Pay

Sometimes the smartest people in the world don't have a clue:
The editor of The New York Times has hinted that the newspaper might charge again for access to some of its online offerings, less than two years after abandoning fees to boost advertising revenue.
Hint? He should shout it from the rooftops. It's reckless for newspapers to remain complicit in the fradulent and self-defeating idea that quality editorial content should be free. If people don't want to pay to read the Times on line or on their Kindles, then they won't get to read the stories. Ditto the wire service copy available for free on Yahoo. News outlets should start charging now, while they still have enough muscle and depth behind their coverage so that readers really know what they're missing. At this point, the struggling industry has nothing to lose. Text isn't dead, but print is. If you think otherwise, you probably own a printing company.

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