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News. People Think It's Their Right To Get It For Free

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pete Incaviglia, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    So, our newspaper is upgrading/changing/modifying its servers or website or something. At any rate, it's messing up our homepage something fierce. Not all stories are ending up there. Some sections haven't been updated for days.

    The angry emails from people are killing me.

    "When are you going to update your website?!"

    "Your website is the same as it was yesterday!"

    Like, if you're in town, and some are because I recognize a couple names, buy the damn paper. If you're out of town, what makes you think you deserve the news for free?

    It's the same old question(s), I know. But man it kills me.
  2. partain

    partain Member

    There was a Zits cartoon about this a year or two ago. The teenage son can't believe a free website hasn't updated it's content in the last five minutes. The dad doesn't share his son's indignation, even pointing out that its free.

    Funny how folks will tell you they don't need the paper or even the paper's website because they can find what they need in so many places online. Then the site goes down for a few hours and there's a huge uproar. Maybe folks should stop and think about the content they'll lose if they don't support their local newspapers.
  3. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    There have been multiple items posted on Slashdot — the geek news/discussion site — about news companies ramping up plans to put up pay walls.

    Most of the comments have something to do with, "No! We willz not pai for teh newz! Teh infformashun must be free! You kannut copyright events!"

    You can copyright your reportage of those events. Perfectly legal. However, if you try to tell the Slashdotters that, your comment gets modded "-1 (Troll)." [/TheVoiceOfExperience]
  4. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    I would presume it would be newspapers' decision to train people for the past decade or more to expect free news.
  5. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that wasn't very smart.
  6. Guy_Incognito

    Guy_Incognito Well-Known Member

    If you can't find it in the Constitution, you're just not looking hard enough.
  7. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    Does your Web site have a note or a banner saying something to the gist of "Sorry, we're upgrading and things are screwed up for a few days"? If not, people are understandably peeved.
  8. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    understandable peeved about a freebie?
  9. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    But most news IS free, or at least subsidized so that people don't pay out of pocket for it -- radio, TV, most if not all websites. Newspapers (the black and white and red all over kind, not the sites they run) are the ONLY medium that charge for breaking news content. I don't think *we're* training anyone to go for the free stuff, honestly.
  10. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Put a 10-cent posting fee here and we'll be having a farewell party for the poster known as Dooley Womack.
  11. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Absolutely, Tex.

    As noted eight million times here, any other notion has left the building.

    If a newspaper is doing business and considers the web an important part of its strategy, it has to be updated to the minute, all the time.

    You can't say, "Well, the web is an important part of our strategy" one minute and then, when your site breaks, say, "Hey, what do you expect, it's free?"

    That's going to be more and more true as web advertising grows (if it does).
  12. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Too bad Web advertising won't grow if they think a great revenue stream is putting "Print ads on the Web - click here." Or archive subscription plans that make little money.
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