No More Free Online Content? So says Rupert Murdoch, owner of Media News Group, the publisher of 54 daily papers that include The Denver Post and the Detroit News states that although details have not been determined, newspaper websites will no longer be free.
Newspapers across the country are facing bankruptcy and closures, and publishers are struggling to modify their business models in a way that will bring in enough additional revenue to survive and thrive. Zenith Optimedia predicts that newspaper ad revenue will fall 12% this year.
Starting next year, subscribers to the online edition of The Wall Street Journal and other News Corporation titles will pay, in the words of Murdoch, "handsomely" for accessing information.
"Handsomely?" I doubt it.
Information wants to be free. Information wants to be expensive. Clearly, newspapers have their work cut out for them. Internet users already pay for access to the "superhighway;" it seems unlikely that they would pay for something the can access on all other media websites. Yet, if it does work, maybe we'll receive better content. Or, maybe the newspapers will have to face the fact that the days of ruling the news are over, and figure out how to maintain under online revenues.
Tough choices either way. And to think that I was just getting this journalism thing down.