Media

Why The Spectator's Paywall is the Wrong Move at the Wrong Time

By Wayne MacPhail
Published July 19, 2013

this blog entry has been updated

I was disappointed to read the recent announcement that The Spectator's website and its apps would be surrounded by a serious paywall. That is, with the exception of five stories a month, the content of local news, beyond headlines, would be available only to Hamiltonians who subscribed to the paper.

Perhaps, to readers who don't make much use of social media tools like Twitter, Path, facebook or blogs; this makes perfect sense. Why should online readers get for free what subscribers to the printed Spectator have to pay for?

Fair enough. But, we are no longer in the golden days of newspapers and print newspaper circulation. And, we are no longer in the time when local news was also a significant (and sometimes the only) vector of international news, comics, horoscopes, movie reviews and classified ads. So, the old rules no longer apply.

That's one of the reasons The Spectator has the sense not to put international news behind their paywall. It's become commodified. It has no value to differentiate and certainly offers no incentive for anyone to pay for an online subscription.

It is through its local coverage that The Spec feels it differentiates itself. Starting July 22, that local content will be locked safely inside a vending machine.

So, here are my problems with that.

Social Capital

In the last six months the #hamont hashtag on Twitter has become a focal point for the discussion of local news, foods, events, issues and weather. Also in the last six months, the number of Spectator reporters and their posts on Twitter has increased dramatically (and is most welcome).

Spec photographers, writers, columnists and editors have been sharing links to stories, photos and videos daily. Clearly, the Spec has encouraged this upswing in the social capital of the Spec team. So, here's my question: Now what are they going to talk about?

What would be the point of @emmaatthespec pointing to a story you have to subscribe to The Spectator to read?

In many cases, when paywalls go up at papers, online readership goes down as much as 90 percent. So, it's fair to imagine that the majority of local Twitter users who follow #hamont will not subscribe and will not be able to access stories the Spec's reports Tweet about.

Fritter Away Hard Work

So, two things happen. First, the reporters will piss of the #hamont community because they keep linking to stories most can't read. This is already happening when reporters from YourHamiltonBiz point to their paywalled stories. [Editor's note: YourHamiltonBiz does regularly post links to open content on social networks, and when it posts links to paywalled content, it marks the links "[subscribers]".]

Second, Spec reporter tweets will become de facto ads whose subtext is "Subscribe to the Spec". Not really the best way for anyone to build social capital and, frankly, a bit embarrassing all around.

So, by disappearing its content behind a paywall, the Spec has frittered away the hard work and good will its reporters have already built up.

Also, a a quick aside, why wouldn't Andrew Dreschel and other high profile writers start taking their valuable brands elsewhere?

Online Discourse

But, more importantly, this issue raises a broader one. By going behind a paywall, the Spec is basically cutting itself off from online discourse. Who will want to link to stories most folks won't see? That just pisses everyone off. Who would blog or post to facebook about it? What would be the point?

But perhaps the good will, and one would presume, increased awareness of (and pageviews to) Spec stories don't matter, because what really matters is the revenue from print ads. And, you might say, people will read about it in print. Well, for now. But, clearly print is struggling. The Spec has to be thinking ahead to a mobile device future, not betting on a dead tree product for an aging demographic.

Not Future Focussed

Paywalls are not future focussed. They just shore up an old, tired business model that results in a gated community the residents of which never go downtown. And, it's not like newspapers haven't had decades to think through a forward-focussed business model.

Tablet-based newspapers were demonstrated and prototyped by my former colleague, Knight-Ridder's Roger Fidler in 1994 and I was showing newspaper publishers in Canada news on a tablet about the same time. In fact, lots of other folks at newspapers across Canada in the 90s saw what was coming.

So, in 2011 to have a business plan that is so clearly burdened by the baggage and ad models of the past is not a success, it's a failure of imagination.

Competing with Free

My final argument is this: This move couldn't come at a worse time.

Independent activists and journalists like Joey Coleman and Ryan McGreal are doing an admirable job raising local issues and livestreaming City Hall (something the Spec could have done years ago). CBC Hamilton is providing solid local coverage - or at least solid enough that, when aggregated with the open offerings of other local outlets and #hamont, will give many Hamiltonians a free alternative to The Spec.

So, it's not like the Spec is the only game in town. Yes, it does some great investigative work, but it is human nature to "satisfice" to go with what is free and easy rather than higher quality services that cost and have a barrier to entry.

It's a shame. I'm sure the folks behind the paywall will enjoy themselves. But they'll also just be talking to themselves. And a community paper should be talking with the community and finding a forward-focussed way of engaging that increasing social media aware public in a discourse that makes business sense.

Good fences, in this case, do not make good neighbours, or neighbourhoods.

First published on Wayne MacPhail's tumblr.

Update: updated to add a note that YourHamiltonBiz does post links to open content. You can jump to the changed paragraph.

Wayne MacPhail has been involved in creating online community, collaboration, conversation since the early 1980s when he created the first hypermedia journalism in Canada. He is a former photographer and managing editor for Hamilton Magazine and a reporter and editor with the Hamilton Spectator. He went on to lead Southam Inc’s exploration of future information products at Southam InfoLab, and helped to design the first polypublishing toolset for newspapers in Canada. He then co-created a comedy site for AOL Canada that had a robust international community and fanbase.

Since then he has created online content for major online network players in Canada (including AOL, CANOE, MSN and Bell-Emergis). As Director of Content for Sympatico-Lycos he introduced rich content and powerful discussion forums for the cross-Canada site. Wayne has also launched discussion forums internal and externally for York University, Centennial College and the Alzheimer’s Society of Ontario (ASO). He teaches online journalism at the University of Western Ontario and Ryerson University and is a published playwright and book author.

Wayne is also an avid runner, cyclist, photographer, videographer and gardener and lives with his wife, Barb, on Ray Street North in Hamilton. He has his own emerging media consultancy, w8nc inc., whose clients include University of Toronto, McMaster University, Random House, The Association of Science and Technology Centres and the Association of Ontario Health Centres.

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By Mark123 (anonymous) | Posted July 19, 2013 at 13:28:44

Lots of hyperbole about paywalls but no suggestion on how newspapers can survive the bloodbath going on right now for print advertising. Journalism is not free. If I wanted to use Wayne's 'expertise' I'm pretty sure it would come with a bill, or is he also helping people for free? Wayne, do you expect to be compensated for your services?
the other missing element here is the community philanthropy. The Spec supports many charity endeavours as well as sponsors many events. Does RTH sponsor events, support charity?
And what about the Metroland community papers... are they not worthy of accolades for their free editorial.
CBC is backed by $Billion in tax funded subsidy. Joey crowd funded his great service... so in essence, people paid for him to deliver a service. The social engagement aspect is highly over-rated. 90 per cent of Hamiltonians don't have the time to sit around all day reading tweets from agenda driven ideologues. They are raising families, going to soccer practice, earning a living.
Paywalls have been successful in the US. The New York Times made more money on subscriptions last year than in advertising revenue. Hmmmm.
All Canada's national paper will/have gone to a paywall system
If you don't think journalism is worth paying for, then you've got options. Good luck.

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By WestHamilton (anonymous) | Posted July 23, 2013 at 15:56:22 in reply to Comment 90280

"90 per cent of Hamiltonians don't have the time to sit around all day reading tweets from agenda driven ideologues. They are raising families, going to soccer practice, earning a living."

Mark, I wanted to let you know that this resonated with me. Yes, the social engagement thing is over-rated.

But you came to a site that is of a leftist bent, just like I did today, so it's hard to get too upset when you read someone saying that local newspapers lead to gated communities…of course it's insanity, but conservatives say some pretty senseless things at times, too. They say less in general, since they happen to be the ones earning livings and paying taxes so that the CBC can pay people to propogandize, but you shouldn't be surprised when someone with an agenda uses a lot of hyperbole...

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By wmacphail (anonymous) | Posted July 19, 2013 at 15:06:09 in reply to Comment 90280

Hi Mark:
Equating a lack of paywall with the belief that journalism should cost nothing is a strawman. They are not mutually exclusive propositions and I won't debate as if they were. Yes my expertise costs money to those who wish to avail themselves of it. And, I also donate a ton of my time to ventures like rabble.ca.

If you look at the trend in paywall subs at the NYT, the news isn't good and strongly suggests that prices have to come down. http://www.mediabistro.com/10000words/the-new-york-times-hits-the-paywall_b19212

By the way, your generalizations and stereotypes about #hamont readers are really not worthy of much discourse.

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted July 19, 2013 at 13:39:09

Streetwall > Paywall

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By ViennaCafe (registered) | Posted July 19, 2013 at 14:55:26

"90 per cent of Hamiltonians don't have the time to sit around all day reading tweets from agenda driven ideologues. They are raising families, going to soccer practice, earning a living."

Thank God those agenda driven ideologues have time to post to raisethehammer! Whew!

In fact, The Spec and other news media, except for alternative media, get by on paid advertizing which doesn't disappear on web sites. If The Spec is indeed basing its business model on subscribers, we may as well begin writing the eulogies now.

The main reason I won't pay for a subscription to The Spec is largely because I grit my teeth everyday I open it up and every day I consider cancelling my print subscription. The Spec is as predictable in its coverage and op-eds as stale bread. I know what their going to say, generally (I was surprised by today's editorial), before I even open the front page.

The Spec represents a narrow viewpoint informed by its declining audience, commercial interests, and conservative world view in a changing world beset by challenges well beyond the narrow focus of the newspaper's editorial team.

I want to support local news and I will pay for a subscription but not if my voice is to be marginalized, belittled, or entirely ignored.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted July 21, 2013 at 11:00:57 in reply to Comment 90290

Steve,

I cancelled my print subscription to The Spec over a year ago and it freed up 5 minutes of my day for more productive pursuits. Including, but not limited to, sleeping an extra 5 minutes, without any negative side-effects.

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By Jay Robb (anonymous) | Posted July 19, 2013 at 15:45:11

So if paywalls are the wrong move at the wrong time, what's the right move?

Volunteers? Unpaid interns? Advertorials and sponsored content? Special arrangements where a reporter or citizen journalist writes a story on behalf of the person, organization or company that writes the cheque?

Maybe Wayne knows something that's escaped senior execs at newspapers, magazines and media companies around the world that are putting up or already operating behind paywalls.

As Mark pointed out in his earlier comment, the New York Times now gets more revenue from subscriptions than advertising. Newsgathering doesn't come cheap. Paywalls and paid subscriptions will be part of the solution going forward.

At last count, I pay for 10 magazine and newspaper subscriptions. I'd like to think social media users & engaged citizens would subscribe to local content from trusted brands so they can continue to offer up informed opinion and analysis.

Sure, paywalls will prevent some of the social discourse on #hamont and Facebook from bleeding into the print and web pages of the Spec. Is this a bad thing? I'm sure some of us would happily pay a premium for more civilized online conversations.

And paywalls still won't stop the folks who slag and dismiss the Spec from submitting letters to the editor and op-eds whenever they want to share their wisdom with the rest of Hamilton and 200,000+ readers (it would be interesting to know what the one-day pageview total is for this post).

The Spec was launched the same year as the City of Hamilton was established. Business models change with the times. I'm willing to bet Hamiltonians will be reading the Spec well into the next century. And we'll look back and wonder why we ever thought we could get our local news for free.

For a far better argument on why paying for content is in everyone's best interests, I highly recommend giving Jaron Lanier's Who Owns the Future? a read. Just don't try to walk out of Chapters without paying for it first.





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By the smug jayrobb abain? (anonymous) | Posted July 21, 2013 at 16:09:16 in reply to Comment 90296

My word this jayrobb is a smug sonofagun.

On July 15 on RTH somebody really got this right:
"By unjay (anonymous) | Posted July 15, 2013 at 16:19:54 in reply to Comment 90163

If you don't 'like' anonymous posts, complain to RTH's parent: Ryan. That's how it is on RTH, [though bully for you if you want to be "unanonymous."] Many find it odd that if are a fulltime permanent Mohawk employee that you HAVEN'T signed your Spectator book things with who you are. Embarrassed about being a paid flack?"

The jayrobb is Mohawk boss Rob McIsaac's public hatchet guy when thousands of Mohawk support staff & teaching staff exercise their collective bargaining rights and get slammed for it. You want to read oily weasily? Read the jayrobb's news comments at those times. No wonder he's "modest"!! about showing his real job when he writes 'expertly' in the Spectator.

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By Journo (anonymous) | Posted July 21, 2013 at 14:54:43 in reply to Comment 90296

Jay, If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

The future is already owned by those who don't hold the hammer. A pay wall is just a device to continue protecting the power of those who see themselves holding the hammer.

The Spectator has always been about advertorials and sponsored content (i.e the hammer) under the guise of serving news, (that is hard political news, not the soft reporting daily about storm damage, heat advisories or traffic alerts).

News models have only changed the newspaper business, but the news business was and will remain the same.

Many newspaper businesses like the Spectator continue to believe that the newspaper business is the same as the news business. The 21st century will be owned by those who can see the difference the newspaper business and the news business.

It is because of this that the Spectator will not survive this decade, let alone into the next century. Holding the hammer is all it knows, it is built into its DNA. It is not an agile business because it is has been conceived as a manufacturing outlet for advertorials and sponsored content.

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By Waypaul (anonymous) | Posted July 19, 2013 at 16:42:30 in reply to Comment 90296

> And we'll look back and wonder why we ever thought we could get our local news for free.

Maybe because we've been used to getting our local news for free for more than a century now, paid for by ads. Subscriptions paid for delivery, not content creation. But delivery is now basically free over the internet. Ad revenue is down, that's the real problem. And paywalls aren't going to help. Maybe the NYT can get away with a paywall but most papers aren't prestigious enough to pull that off.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted July 21, 2013 at 17:58:03 in reply to Comment 90301

Maybe because we've been used to getting our local news for free for more than a century now,

Only if you took more than one paper out of the paperbox.

Yes classifieds used to be the real cash cow for newspapers but it is disingenuous to say the local newspaper has been free for a century. It has not.

Comment edited by Kiely on 2013-07-21 18:01:57

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By SCRAP (anonymous) | Posted July 19, 2013 at 18:28:50

Corporate warlord

Just as the corporate warlod, The Hamilton Roundtable of Poverty Roundtable. Do we know the amount of liberal dollars spend to send a specific message.

Do we know how much or how many llberal dollars have spent. Put Food in the Budget is lead by a supposed liberal organizer.

Do we know the amount that has been paid to not for profits such as Hamilton Advocacy????? We must be looking at this, since, the founder blames OCAP, instead of the government,

the Hamilton Roundtable of Poverty is made mostly of rich people or their minions who made the cuts

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By ViennaCafe (registered) | Posted July 19, 2013 at 23:07:42

"So if paywalls are the wrong move at the wrong time, what's the right move?"

Offering a product with wider appeal. Perhaps by representing a greater number of voices. Perhaps by becoming an advocate of the new Hamilton rather than the tired mouth piece of an industrial era in decline. Perhaps by listening to those younger readers they covet rather than condescendingly lecturing to them.

The Spec, for example, berated Line9 protesters for not following the process--a process that was essentially gutted by the infamous omnibus bill. Why would any young reader who cares deeply about these issues, as they should, give a dime to The Spec to be lectured on matters to which The Spec is so utterly out of touch?

Please.

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By Fatso (anonymous) | Posted July 20, 2013 at 11:53:59

I work at a paper in the United States that is medium sized circulation 25-50k. We went paywall a little less than two years ago. Pundits on both sides say numerous things but I have one compelling data point. We are making 4x as much money from our digital operation since we put up the paywall. Our online, non-upsell revenue is up 15% since then. That is all, people.

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By Distant Observer (anonymous) | Posted July 21, 2013 at 10:18:42 in reply to Comment 90320

Four x one dollar is four dollars. Context is everything. What is the status of your print edition? Did print subscriber's give up their subscriptions for digital or did new readers subscribe to print to get digital? In other words, are you getting new readers or shuffling existing ones around?

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By Distant Observer (anonymous) | Posted July 21, 2013 at 10:24:07

http://m.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/torstar-quebecor-paint-bleak-picture-as-revenues-profits-plunge/article11778090/?service=mobile

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By Steve (registered) | Posted July 21, 2013 at 11:09:49

Whether it be print or online, when I no longer saw quality or value in The Spec I stopped paying and reading.

I've moved on without feeling any loss from not reading The Spec, or checking out the online edition, and I expect others will do the same.

p.s. It was a stupid idea, and poor form, to require print subscribers have to pay extra for online access when the first weak 'clear-your-cache' paywall was introduced.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 21, 2013 at 13:47:52 in reply to Comment 90331

This. I had cancelled my subscription, but they suckered me into re-subscribing during a blitz right before announcing that print subscribers would still have to pay for online access. I felt totally deceived and would have cancelled again promptly if it weren't for my husband who likes to get the print edition. Needless to say I'm always trying to talk him out of it...

Comment edited by highwater on 2013-07-21 13:49:45

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By Steve (registered) | Posted July 21, 2013 at 21:48:19 in reply to Comment 90335

Stop trying to talk him out of it and just have it delivered directly to his work. At least that way you are spared having it clutter your home.

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By Cultosaurus (registered) | Posted July 21, 2013 at 11:46:24

I have no problem paying for a newspaper or paying for online access, especially if the paper is independent. The Spec, however, is mostly the Toronto Star and what's left is often poorly written, uninteresting or too little too late.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 21, 2013 at 13:38:23

Now this is something I would pay for. I also happily support TVO and several public radio stations, so I have no problem paying for quality content. But asking people to pay for the Spec online is more like asking people to pay for CHML. Good luck with that.

Comment edited by highwater on 2013-07-21 13:39:23

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By ViennaCafe (registered) | Posted July 22, 2013 at 09:44:00

I will be canceling my print subscription to The Spectator. Today, The Spec published an op-ed by a local climate change denier spouting already well debunked garbage. Read it for yourself: https://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/39...

The Spectator would not embarrass itself publishing nonsense claiming that the the Earth is flat or that the Apollo mission was a fraud or that 9/11 was an inside job and conspiracy. But it continues to publish nonsense by climate deniers even after a series of storms entirely consistent with climate change models.

Why do I want to pay for that? Seriously.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 22, 2013 at 18:45:10 in reply to Comment 90346

Ha! I thought of your earlier comments when I saw that article this morning. This is exactly the sort if crap the spec needs to stop doing if they want anyone under the age of 55, or anyone over 55 with half a brain, to pay for their online content.

The survival of outlets like TVO, NPR, PBS, and closer to home, Joey Coleman's crowd sourcing campaigns, show that consumers not only recognize quality but are more than willing to support it financially.

Why should anyone pay for the spec's content when they willingly and frequently publish such rubbish? You have to build trust if you want people to support you. Feeble editorials about how 'trustworthy' you are arent going to cut it. There's only one way, and that is to produce quality content. Publishing the likes of Frank Gue is pretty much the polar opposite of that.

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By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted July 22, 2013 at 12:18:05 in reply to Comment 90346

To be fair, severe thunderstorms are also consistent with models that don't assume climate change.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 22, 2013 at 13:18:43 in reply to Comment 90349

The evidence for global warming is both deep and wide: it comes independently from a huge diversity of peer-reviewed sources employing many different methods across several branches of science from climatology, aeronomy, meteorology, oceanography, geology, geophysics, glaciology, biology, evolutionary biology, biochemistry, agricultural science, paleontology, zoology, geography, forestry, and so on.

A truly vast array of research all converges on the conclusion that humans are changing the climate by burning hydrocarbons and releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

As the author of the linked Spec column notes, science is founded in skepticism, and scientists love nothing more than to prove each other wrong. The evidence for global warming has been aggressively peer reviewed, despite the persistent agenda-based muddying and denialism that appears in newspaper columns, on talk radio and slick-looking industry-funded websites.

Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that climate change deniers are still leaning on the old "CO2 is plant food!" canard. I would have assumed they might be a bit more sophisticated these days.

The unfortunate thing is that they are still given space to sow their doubts, protected under the false journalistic virtue of "balance", as in: "Opinions differ as to shape of earth".

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By Mark123 (anonymous) | Posted July 22, 2013 at 10:15:54

I'd still like to hear Wayne's business plan for news organizations struggling with declining print revenues?
Many people have expressed an opinion on The Spec based on its content... and that's total fair game. I dislike eggplant, so, I don't just buy it anyway so I can support eggplant farmers.
This transition for the media has its bumps but ideally the public will benefit from increased focus on content.
For decades, print media has placed too much focus on ad revenues and not enough focus on content. I believe people will pay for good content... and it's up to news organizations to deliver. This is an exciting challenge for publishers as well as journalists. Journalists have played second fiddle to the sales department for decades, and now with declining print revenues, publishers now realize they have to refocus on content which is good for the profession and good for the public.
Think about this:
• in 2012, Google made more money from ad revenue than all US print media combined. As an aggregator that relies on content generation, this is a double edged sword. Google reaps profits on the backs on content generators.
• Currently, $22 is lost in print revenue for every $1 gained in digital ads

Personally, I see this move in an historical context: We’re going back to our origins to once again promote the one revenue stream that newspapers were born from – subscriptions.
Admittedly, print media owners never adapted properly to the internet. They falsely believed they could generate enough revenue from online ads to support open content. It is simply not sustainable.
In addition, marketers are increasingly finding alternative ways to target consumers... much of it thru social media streams. The ad market adapted, while print media sat back in denial.

Information has become verticalised.
We used to talk only about the need to aggregate audiences. Now we speak increasingly about segmenting audiences — and how they segment themselves.
Consumers increasingly access information in deep vertical shafts rather than the broad but shallow bundles of yesteryear. This behaviour is amplified by digital.
Recognizing the debundling of the print package (or the broadcast news one for that matter) is nothing new. But what opportunities does the changed behaviour of news and information consumers generate?
In the classic model, producers organized their news and information into freight cars of national news, local news, foreign news, sports news, entertainment news, business news etc., etc.
These were aimed at mass audiences. As such, the bundle was a mile wide and six inches deep. Some subject areas, such as city hall or the local baseball team, might even be a foot deep.
But the approach lent itself more to breadth than depth, a situation that became aggravated as newsprint costs rose and newsroom budgets shrank. Coverage of smaller subsets in the bundle, such as horseracing, shrank from two pages to one page to a spot of agate. Bigger subsets like business or political news have also suffered.
Today, readers can delve as deeply as they desire into subject areas of their choosing through regular visits to specialised sites and blogs or by downloading relevant apps. They can “favourite” sources through RSS feeds and engage in conversations on Twitter.
Some might like politics and baseball, others cooking or ultimate fighting or science. But while the classic, bundled newspaper may be a starting point it does not fully satisfy the newly acquired taste for depth.
The vertical self-organisation of audiences presents new business possibilities. If just 2% of your newspaper audience was passionate about horseracing, they lacked sufficient mass for you to devote resources to it in the bundle. But if half of that 2% is willing to pay for a specialised digital product, the game changes.
As we slice and dice our audiences, all kinds of potential new products suggest themselves. Some may be directed at as few as 5,000 or even 500 people.
The question is: Can publishers go deep enough with relevant and unique information, preferably in geographic or subject area pockets protected from the digital giants. Can we entice end users to pay? If we can, we will also have created an efficient buy for targeted advertising.
The paywall is a crass game of catch up. No doubt. However, there is compelling evidence across North America that efforts to re-educate consumers on the value of content and journalism is having traction.
There is also a plethora of alternative content generators like RTH that help educate and engage our community thru compelling and valuable content. I say the more the better.
Again, this all comes down to free will - you have the choice. I believe many will publicly grumble and quietly acquiesce.
It's interesting to parallel the passionate efforts in Hamilton to preserve a historical building in Gore Park, yet some of the same people are actively encouraging the demise of one of Hamilton's most historic institutions founded in 1846. Seems as a community we should all rise to save our identity be it a building or a newspaper.

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By fmurray (registered) | Posted July 22, 2013 at 19:29:38 in reply to Comment 90347

Mark123 you are a very intelligent and thoughtful commenter. Thank you.

It's always a bit of a puzzle when people suggest newspaper content should be offered free on the internet. Why? Who is going to pay for news-gathering and posting? Online advertising does not pay the bills. "The Cult of the Amateur" is a really good book that outlines all of the arguments for professional journalism. Perhaps we can get SOME local content on blogs and free sites, but who will volunteer to go to Afghanistan or Iraq? Who can afford to research and write the in-depth series such as Code Red and the recent Barton Street series?

Crowd-funded journalism or free sites like this one are great, but I'll still pay to read the local newspaper for a well-rounded picture of the community (climate-denying articles notwithstanding -- I agree, those have to go).

And, print subscribers don't have to pay extra for online access -- it's all included.

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By Bits want to be free (anonymous) | Posted July 23, 2013 at 18:17:33

The spec paywall software is a joke, block their cookies and install Ghostery on your browser and it goes away, install AdBlock+ and their ads go away. "Intellectual property" is not property, it's impssible to steal, and bloody hard to sell.

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By Mark123 (anonymous) | Posted July 24, 2013 at 15:20:46

Interesting article on how one newspaper put up paywall, hired more staff and prioritized print over digital

California newspaper defies industry wisdom to stay alive – and prospers
Orange County Register shocked the crisis-stricken industry with an ambitious experiment. One year later, the paper is celebrating
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/23/california-newspaper-industry-wisdom

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