Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Modern Day Newspaper

The general feeling about content on the Internet is that pretty much everything should be free. It's the Internet, after all; the largest place in the world for the free exchange of information. This belief is hurting newspapers pretty badly, especially since they can't afford to not use the web and publish articles online, as well as being forced to reduced the number of physical printings they do just to save money.

Newspapers need to use the web to publish articles, but they need to find a way to get some kind of money for all of the people who don't subscribe to a physical copy. Some major newspapers like The Wall Street Journal use paywalls, which usually force users to pay for access to articles if they exceed a certain number of free viewings. This gets them money from people who look at a lot of articles and are willing to pay, but it also pushes away people who are not willing to pay. These people might go to a rival newspaper's website or simply look at a general news site, but the bottom line is that the newspaper is not getting money from them. The New York Times is trying out a paywall that offers a lot of workarounds for getting access to articles after you've hit your free limit ( ). There's still the issue of people being unwilling to pay for something they find on the web.

The feeling of entitlement to free things on the web, combined with falling newspaper subscriptions and the double-edged sword of needing to publish articles online is slowly killing off the traditional newspaper. Soon print copies will be gone and all that will be left will be websites that don't know whether to charge people for their content or to give it to them for free and try to make up their costs through advertisements.

1 comment:

  1. I think they should just have subscription cost for online content. Just not as much as it would be for print. They could sell their printing presses and just go online fully. Or even have the writers work from home and prevent the costs of having an office.