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Friday, April 10, 2009


This week, the Associated Press fired a shot across the bow of news aggregation sites like Google and the Huffington Post. Without calling any site out by name, the AP said they would take legal action against websites that use their content without paying. Business Week's media columnist Jon Fine says news companies seem ready to ask consumers to pay for content again.

Comments [6]

Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

It occurs to me that newspapers have been competing with free media for over 50 years, as one of our relatively local television news operations often reminds us, and longer if you count radio. Why, then, did they not collapse? They offered something better!

After a decade where we saw the New York Times's resident administration's virtual spokesperson, Judith Miller, jailed and it's most creative writer, Jason Blair, exposed as a fraud, is it any wonder that even the Old Gray Lady doesn't seem seem fit for wrapping fish? We could recycle it for disposable diapers!

Apr. 14 2009 09:27 PM
Gary Kline from Seattle, WA

I've been saying for months, if not *forever*, that the global media could join forces--US Public Broadcasting, BBC, and many other audio and print journalism sites,
to create a global daily print [and/or] broadcast site. Regional sites--say in Shelby, Ohio--would have their own regional coverage. This model would need to be non-profit. At least once a year, people would be expected to send in $50-to $250. That's real money for real coverage.

I've listened to NPR and PBS since they began, and have paid my fair share for close to 30 years. I would pay for an online print service in the same way. But the operation would have to be not-for-profit ... and endlessly customizable.

Apr. 14 2009 03:38 PM
Marcel de Jong from The Netherlands

BTW, the AP are just as bad as the RIAA and the MPAA, trying to protect their old ways.

Here in NL, a Dutch publically funded network (responsible for the news on tv and radio), the NOS, are doing an experiment, where they are going to see if they can do without the ANP. (The Dutch AP)
source: (sorry Dutch only)

You have Twitter often breaking stories earlier than the AP, you have blogs, and other news sites like Digg and in The Netherlands, where people can offer their stories on news that is happening around them.

Yes you get inaccuracies, but name me one newspaper that has gotten _every_ story right in its entire existence.

Apr. 13 2009 08:54 AM
Marcel de Jong from The Netherlands

This is getting ridiculous...
The example put forth here "if there is a big newspaper that would put things behind a paywall, the smaller online newspaper would thrill to see that"... well, clearly there is a way to monetize on free, because apparently the 'smaller' newspaper can do it.
Thus if the bigger newspaper can't change its ways and goes bankrupt, I think that'd be good, let it happen. Clearly they are incapable for running a news business in the 21st century, but the other guys are.
Does the public still lose out? No, because there is still a news source for them.

So what if the big newspaper goes out of business? That's life, the public doesn't have to prop up ancient business models. Either change with the times, or go out of business.

But every old type industry (tv, newspaper, music, movie) are trying to blame the Internet for killing their old business models, instead of embracing new ones, and are asking Congress or whatever other type of legislature, to protect their old ways.
Yes it's harder to monetize, but apparently sites are doing just that. And if a big newspaper will go under, a smaller more flexible one will take its place... Do you really think that people will stop reading news after $Big_Newspaper has disappeared?

Here in The Netherlands, newspapers are struggling too, but there are still alternatives. We have sites like which is a big source of news (and they do have journalists working for them, they don't just regurgitate AP stories). They seem to be thriving right now, even in these bad economic times.

Apr. 13 2009 08:35 AM
Nathan Lindberg from Taiwan

I am tired of stories about "free media" online. To get online I had to buy a computer and pay to keep it running, which at minimum includes buying virus protection and paying for Internet access. Meanwhile, nespapers come self contained.

I'm forking out $70 a month already. If you want me to pay more, you'd better give me something really cool, not just newsprint on the screen.

Apr. 13 2009 12:12 AM
B K Ray from Chicago, IL

The news media is able to charge for content. Lets just say that you do have two major newspapers for a large metropolitan area, like we do here in Chicago. Neither of which makes all that much money online (since one is in bankruptcy and the other is leaning towards it, but not for reasons of readership).

I am willing to pay for access, but I do not want the same product that all the other people on the free site have.

The thing is no one ever asks us what we would be willing to pay for with a subscription. One thing I do not want is an application that makes the computer screen look and act like the real newspaper. Though I do have some magazines that do that, it is not something I really care for and it has yet to be done al that well (kudos to Harpers and shame on the New Yorker for their efforts).

Things I would like:
1. Phone apps (the NYT has a nice app, but it does not get the whole paper on your phone as promised, if you lose access, like in a tunnel, it is over with)

2. More information. I want transcripts of city council full and committee meetings, zoning changes and all that fun stuff, and it would be nice if info on which their is a story to be highlighted.

3. I want back stage passes to the writers, special blogs.

And some other things as well

Apr. 12 2009 01:44 PM

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