Tag Archives: newspaper

Would You Pay?

5 Apr

Image source: soxfirst.com

Lately there’s been a whole wave of talk about the New York Times and its new pay-wall subscriptions. After 20 article views per month, the NYT website will direct its readers to a subscription page where they must pay to view further information on their site. The issue of paying for online content has been a controversial topic amongst the newspaper industry and journalists across the globe.  Would viewers pay for such content? How much is too much to charge for this online information?

Since the direction of journalism has traveled from print to online in the recent years, companies must start thinking of innovative ways to make money off of the non-traditional medium. If they don’t want to die out, they must charge for their intellectual property whether it be online or in print.

The Wall Street Journal has been one successful case that implemented a pay-wall and still kept its viewers. But of course, not every newspaper can be like the WSJ. Viewers would only pay for content that they deem valuable. “The content should fulfill a need of the people. The information has to be valuable and solves a problem.” Says Reid Buchanan, a Journalism student at the University at Albany. Another student, Mike Campana agrees: “When the information is important to a large percentage of the community, people would pay. It’s not necessarily the best content, but it is exclusive content that people need.”

The opinions on this issue continues to differ. Some people believe that because we are so accustomed to receiving free online content, we would not pay for such materials, because after all, “information wants to be free.” So what could be some possible solutions to this problem?

In my opinion, the best solution would be to charge by per article. A small amount can be paid if a reader wants to read a particular article instead of being charged for content that they may not even want to read. Along with this, a company can also decide to charge by column. I would definitely pay for the fashion/lifestyle section rather than the sports section. This way, people can have the freedom to choose certain topics that they take a particular interest in rather than the surge of invaluable information in such a large paper.

Everyone is waiting to see whether the New York Times will succeed with their new pay-wall. If they do, I can see many newspapers following in its footsteps. This just might be what we need to finally charge for online content; if all newspapers put up pay walls, we have no choice but to give in. The NYT could be the key to saving the downhill fate of journalism as a whole.

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Learning a Thing or Two

21 Feb

So I was reading Mediabistro’s 10,000 word blog and the most recent entry was about what newsrooms can learn from tech startup companies. I found it quite amusing that newsrooms aren’t already doing all that.

1. Transparency of Team – Newsrooms should create a team page with individual biographies of their writers with photos. Instead of the boring name, email, and phone numbers, they can actually include interesting background information on the authors, their interests, and other useful content like links to their social media accounts and posts.

2. News as Software – News nowadays should be useful to the reader and not just simply consumed. They must find a way for users to play with content and maybe allow them to test drive products or features before it debuts.

3. Product Management – When displaying news content on a website, the designers should think about functionality and user-friendliness.

4. Behind-the -scenes Blogging – It is important for the journalists of a newsrooms to interact with the rest of the world. It’s also a great way for the community to give inputs and pitch story ideas. Giving the readers an insight to what’s going on inside the newsroom is another form of transparency that the users would appreciate.

Other things such as encouraging employees to experiment and work on their own ideas are great things that newsrooms can learn from these startup companies. All in all, I think these would benefit newsrooms and online content in the long run and newspaper companies should start implementing these ideas soon if they have not already done so.