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Should online publishers charge for their content?


Internet connection
Internet digital age.

Of course the advertising bubble has burst like many bubbles around us and media entities struggling with high capital costs, a decreasing readership (which may be a result of the over saturation of similar media entities or the sheer fact that despite their best intentions the publishers content is not appealing to a wider audience or is not being marketed appropriately) are trying to fight for their very survival. One of those entities  is the NY Times, the one entity whom you would think was beyond any possibility of failing (it can thank wealthy benefactors for private billion dollar cash infusions…). Why is it in danger despite its wide readership and admittedly interesting content (never mind people like Maureen Dowd and Thomas Friedman who have no right being journalists )? Because in a big way consumer tastes have changed and what we consume is more geared to specialty, niche journalism/coverage as well as the over saturated contagious reporting of society’s elite and celebrity factions.

The irony of asking consumers to charge for online content is heresy because all along it is the internet that brought many more readers to the scene and allowed us to be more equally informed. To now assume that we should pay for content that is meant to be free in the first place is a serious violation of equanimity for all and a cynical desire by those who have now used the internet to bring all those new extra readers to its shores and to ask them to pay a fee for the ride home when all along they insisted in providing appetizers gratis.

A cursory glance at some of the comments in NY Mag revealed the following polarizing views-

‘What about the “Information Age” do these people not understand? As long as some parts of the Internet are “free,” information will be free. The information doesn’t care if its paid for, it is gleaned, then sent wherever its sender intends. What makes Sulzberger think information from the NYT is, or will be worth any more than anyone else’s? ‘

or this;

Ego may require some to say dumb things that are at best personal opinions. The fickle hand of time always has proved this wrong at least in the USA. What American reads, knows, remembers or understands, or even uses history? There are a lot of smart asses in NYC that believe they know everything, but in a few years no one will know or remember the NYT’s. This is reality!

or this

The truth is that the gatekeepers of media are no longer the gatekeepers. So called NEWS sources are EVERYWHERE (at everyone’s disposable” and the NYT thinks it’ll be punishing its readers by only allowing access to those who pay but that will backfire quicker than you can say “DUCK!!!!”

People are no longer interested in (snore…zzzzzzzz) journalism…now sensationalism…that sells…and you don’t have to go to the NYT’s to find it…..

or this which had us grinning


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