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Old 02-27-2010, 07:31 AM   #16
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My guess is that news content will be paid for in the long term. The thing about news is that it's new - there isn't time to "pirate" it, and people don't want to faff about collating everything or trying to work out what to believe. They want a trusted source that will tell them the kind of news that they want (Sun/Grauniad/Torygraph/Mail/Hello/whatever), in a way that reinforces their prejudices, in a convenient package. I think that people will see value in this in the long term.

Early on, newspapers were competing for a presence on the web, in the context of the early madness around investing in the internet for incredible future returns that never materialised. As a result, they all adopted a free model which is difficult to back down on now. The increasingly popular format of a book-sized device that you can carry around (such as ereaders, netbooks and ipads) presents a new opportunity for newspapers, I think, because people don't see this as simply a browser. If they can deliver a convenient, pleasant-to-read newspaper to such devices, they will probably be able to charge for it.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:46 AM   #17
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My guess is that news content will be paid for in the long term. The thing about news is that it's new - there isn't time to "pirate" it, and people don't want to faff about collating everything or trying to work out what to believe. They want a trusted source that will tell them the kind of news that they want (Sun/Grauniad/Torygraph/Mail/Hello/whatever), in a way that reinforces their prejudices, in a convenient package. I think that people will see value in this in the long term.
We (the TV licence payer) already do pay for such things as the BBC News web site, which is my personal choice of source for news.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:53 AM   #18
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We (the TV licence payer) already do pay for such things as the BBC News web site, which is my personal choice of source for news.
We do, but one doesn't pay in proportion to how much you use it - and some users don't pay at all (e.g. non-UK ones). If the Beeb produced a newspaper-style summary that was convenient to auto-load to the device for free, this could significantly undermine the opportunity for newspapers.

I wonder if there are any statistics on the success (or otherwise) of paid newspapers through the Kindle?
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:03 PM   #19
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Yes, of course, and that's the point. Wikipedia is fine for the great majority of people. But if you're a "serious" researcher, Britannica is worth paying for. It's not about "popularity", it's about filling the needs of a specialist market.
Totally agrees with my theory... there is a smaller group of people that want quality articles rather than those that are just looking for general info... for example, Wikipedia was great for me to read the rules of curling.

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Old 02-27-2010, 01:41 PM   #20
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My guess is that news content will be paid for in the long term.
I already get a substantial portion of my news through citizen journalism, if sites chose to lower paywalls, that proportion will go up, simple enough.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:26 PM   #21
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This is a perfect example of how it does not work. I have Comcast, and it is way way overpriced for what you get. We certainly do not want the Internet to turn into anything even close to resembling the cable model.
Being expensive is a matter of opinion... yes, cable prices are high thanks to lack of competition and lobbying to keep it that way... but the point is sound.

But the point is that, through cable, you're getting content you can't get from your local TV stations... that's a value, and it's worth something.

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I already get a substantial portion of my news through citizen journalism, if sites chose to lower paywalls, that proportion will go up, simple enough.
But if the paywalls are the only thing providing them the income to do quality journalistic work, they will either lose quality... or go out of business.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:33 PM   #22
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But if the paywalls are the only thing providing them the income to do quality journalistic work, they will either lose quality... or go out of business.
In a world where people report, in detail, on events affecting them as they happen on blogs and even twitter, professional news services are going to find themselves under increasing strain.

The assumption that it's all low quality is amusing, but...
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:50 PM   #23
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The guardian probably obtain 50% of it's material from Murdoch news sources anyway lol.

The main problem for online newspapers and news outlets is that 'someone' always offers it for free and makes money from CPM/CPC advertising on the traffic that comes to the websites. Pay content only works for high demand niche sites like the wallstreet journal.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:31 PM   #24
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In a world where people report, in detail, on events affecting them as they happen on blogs and even twitter, professional news services are going to find themselves under increasing strain.

The assumption that it's all low quality is amusing, but...
In fact, most of those people are reporting what they see. But how many of them are doing the appropriate research and background checks? How many of them are reporting rumors and lies, because they don't check sources?

Quite a few do zero research. Quite a few simply lift their info from other sources, the ones who did the real work. Quite a few depend on the word of anonymous strangers with personal agendas and unverifiable credentials, hiding behind convenient web names like... oh... "Shaggy"... for their reports.

In fact, the amusing part is how many people take the word of so many unprofessional, unverifiable, anonymous sources as gospel.

Personal reports and anecdotes will tell you that Frank, down the street, almost hit a telephone pole in his Prius. (And since a 12-year-old said it in his Twitter account, it must be true.) If you really want to search the web for a few months, you'll probably unearth a few-score similar reports. Personal reports and anecdotes aren't going to tell you how many Toyotas have been the subject of a massive recall, nor when the last similar recall was, from which dealer, whether there was attributable loss of life, or whether there may have been actions and decisions in Toyota's past that prompted this problem.

You get that from quality journalism.

Sure, there are plenty of people out there who are happy to get their news from the 12-year-old through Twitter. For people who want real, detailed, verifiable news, they will go to quality journalists. And if they need that information in order to do their jobs, to get ahead, etc, they'll understand the value of paying for it if necessary.

Sure, professional journalism will be impacted, but it doesn't mean they will all collapse. It means renewed efforts to justify their existence, reconsolidation of services, and probably a few new tricks to entice a few more people. They will get lean and smart, because they'll need to, to survive.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:07 AM   #25
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Steve, most 'professional' journalists only repeat what they're told by 'anonymous sources' without doing any factchecking either. It's how the MSM has been working for many years now, taking the politicians' word for everything. It's one of the reasons we're involved in two wars.

Which is the main reason the news blogs have become popular. People are tired of the MSM being little more than a propaganda machine.
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:13 AM   #26
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Sure, there are plenty of people out there who are happy to get their news from the 12-year-old through Twitter.
I'm sure you are. However, I've found that the civilian journalists and bloggers I follow are generally more accurate and faster to report than the major news services. Certainly some have an agenda, but it's clear up-front and I can read bearing that in mind.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:46 AM   #27
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Steve, most 'professional' journalists only repeat what they're told by 'anonymous sources' without doing any factchecking either. It's how the MSM has been working for many years now, taking the politicians' word for everything. It's one of the reasons we're involved in two wars.

Which is the main reason the news blogs have become popular. People are tired of the MSM being little more than a propaganda machine.
Not that I would ever consider MSM "quality journalism"... in fact, I avoid them like the plague. Try CBS, BBC, or the NYT.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:47 AM   #28
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I'm sure you are. However, I've found that the civilian journalists and bloggers I follow are generally more accurate and faster to report than the major news services. Certainly some have an agenda, but it's clear up-front and I can read bearing that in mind.
Well, then, what have you got to worry about? You can keep getting your news from Twitters, and ignore the paysites. That's up to you.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:52 AM   #29
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Steve, MSM is short for 'mainstream media'. What did you think it was short for?

Maybe not so much BBC, I would hate to malign our friends across the pond, but definitely CBS and the NYT have both been guilty of shilling for the politicians. As have NBC, ABC and every major newspaper in the US. So has NPR, for that matter.

Mainstream reporters are so afraid of 'losing access' that they'll say anything the pols tell them to. Except for some sex scandal, when was the last time you ever saw a mainstream reporter call out a politician?

Which is why, sadly enough, I get most of my news from Jon Stewart.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:17 AM   #30
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Well, then, what have you got to worry about?
Worry? Heh. It's just amusing watching people rant against citizen journalism.
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