I’m torn. “You’ve read your free articles, now pay us.”
Fuck you. You’re on google news. I didn’t ask for your news article. It was fed to me.
How about I “pay” you by reading your article?
You really expect me to pay for your news because you’re so special? Okay, gee, I guess I’ll also have to pay for the other jillion news websites too. Wouldn’t that be nice in your special little world?
I dunno. Is news worth paying for? People do need to earn livings I suppose. I’m not whipping out my credit card. Nor am I signing up. I actually can survive without National Geographic, Washington Post and New York Times. The worthwhile news makes its way around eventually.
I can’t see paying for any of them since there’s so many to choose from. When I first read the thread I was going to say that I could see paying for a local newspaper’s website (in my case JSOnline.com) just to get the local news, but, why bother? It’s not even really the newspaper anymore, it’s the same as the (TV) news websites. Honestly, when I hear 15 fire trucks go past my house, they’re as likely to know what’s going on as the local Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS affiliate.
The only way I think they’ll get more people to pay is to consolidate so people don’t have choices.
From the other side of the fence: it’s a given that online advertising does not pay the bills. Without subscriptions, how is anyone going to earn enough money for quality journalism? I’m not talking about individual reporters, but news organizations with enough money to send a journalist to some important location.
I work for a newspaper. Yes, yes, dead dead dead. Except not so dead. Our advertising revenue has declined, but our subscription revenue has gone up until now it is 50% of our revenue. We gave up chasing after readership quantity, now we are aiming for quality readership, which also pleases those advertisers we have left.
We also have lots of online revenue initiatives. Piss in the ocean. Some of our online articles are subscriber only - good revenue stream.
So I suppose you still get what you pay for. You want cheap crappy journalism that comes to you for free, that’s what you’ll get. Cheap and crappy.
p.s. I recognize that I’m not particularly objective in this area, but on the other hand I don’t see how people expect to get good stuff without paying for it. See first paragraph: online advertising does not pay the bills.
As a former journalism student, and a person who works in Web application design, I have no reason to think that any Web content should be free. I would not hold it against a news source that decided to charge. I would prefer a subscription service that forced you to turn off ad blockers, so it would basically be the same model as subscribing to the physical paper.
I would probably subscribe to my local paper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer (cleveland.com). It’s not my news source now but I don’t have a regular news source as it is.
Problem is that it’d be hard to make myself pony up for that subscription when there were comparable free sources, especially free sources that printed wire stories.
Anyway, I don’t hold it against news Web sites that demand payment. It’s their content, it’s their right.
Maybe there should be some kind of on-line collective news services, so I could pay one subscription fee and get access to news from many sources in the collective.
As it is now, I poke around many many different on-line news sites, from NYT to LATimes to SF Chronicle to WSJ to Al Jazeera, et many many al. If I had to subscribe to them all, that isn’t going to happen. I don’t read enough articles on any one of those sites to justify subscribing. (Well, WaPo maybe.) Maybe if the billing paradigm was pay-per-article. (Like what, 0.99/article? 0.15/article? Depends on article?) But provided that there is some consolidated billing plan, so I don’t have to pay several dozen separate little bills.
It’s certainly their prerogative. If they tell me to go away I shrug and move on. I actually do pay for the Wall Street Journal because I enjoy reading it front to back, daily. Of course they’re shady about it. I can’t actually find anything but their teaser rate (4 weeks for $1 each!) on their website. I think it’s like $100/year.
As for blocking ads, that’s a security matter. Unless the website is serving up its own, screened ads, for which they will take responsibility for damages if I catch a bug from them, they’re gone.
Good journalism costs money. That said, there are ways around the paywalls. And there are sites, even good ones, that are free. (Notably, The Guardian has greatly expanded its US coverage and is free.)
Your public library does this for you, with a probably-vast collection of current newspapers and magazines, online and in print.
I pay for a number of online sites, including news aggregators, but not newspaper sites.
I appreciate investigative journalism, and I would be happy to contribute to Reporters Without Borders or some Kickstarter or whatever. But investigative reporting is just as likely to show up on Buzzfeed as a newspaper, and “news” news comes from cable networks, which get a subscription fee as well as advertising, or twitter, or youtube, or government press conferences.
I’m not paying a newspaper for one Pulitzer-prize winning piece a year, and 365 days of police reports and sports scores I can get anywhere else.
I’ve been paying for the Wall Street Journal digital edition for years (before that I actually had a print subscription), you get the full day’s newspaper under the “Today’s Paper” menu item and I do typically read 80% of the articles each day.
To me they have enough unique content by quality journalists that it’s worth the subscription…plus having been a newspaper subscriber my entire adult life I’m comfortable with the idea of paying for news. But, that being said given the high quality of free news on the Internet I have been slowly gravitating toward the idea of canceling my WSJ subscription and getting by on free news. But I’ve still yet to find good business reporting that is free. The FT is also good but also paid.
Like I said…if I could find quality business reporting for free I’d go for it, but I’ve not seen any of the free sites equal WSJ or FT (both of which are subscription services.) IB Times or Forbes or Fortune are nowhere near as good, nor is Business Insider.