Comment 90296

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.

Permalink | Context

Events Calendar

There are no upcoming events right now.
Why not post one?

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools