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Opinions about online newspaper access fees

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JournalistCJH, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. JournalistCJH

    JournalistCJH New Member

    As a former newspaper reporter and a current Ph.D. student studying mass communication, I'm very interested in the opinions that both journalists and news consumers have about online newspaper access fees.

    Do you feel newspapers will be able to generate revenue through access fees? Do you think more newspapers will implement access fee plans in the next year? Are newspapers trying to measure their readers' opinions about this?

    I'm conducting a quick, anonymous survey about this. I've posted the link below for anyone who would like to take it. Also, feel free to share the link with your listeners, viewers and readers. Even if you don't want to take it, share your thoughts here.

    Here is the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/newspapers
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    No. Yes. Some do.

    Why pay when you can get most news free, especially national and major metro news?
  3. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    That suggests a local online publication could do well by charging a fee for content that may not otherwise be available to the masses.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Let me rephrase that. General newspapers won't be successful in charging for online content. How many are successful at it now?
  5. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    I'm sure the number is very, very small.

    I was just thinking out loud, as a guy living in a small community who is looking for something to do and who may not necessarily be done with daily journalism......
  6. nmmetsfan

    nmmetsfan Active Member

    Not sure about online newspaper fees being much of a revenue source. I can see them as a way to protect content. I can also see them as a way to alienate readers. If newspapers can overcome the stigma that online content is supposed to be free, they might have a chance.
  7. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    We don't know how to go about charging for online content. But this much we do know: giving it away for free has been disastrous.
  8. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    The problem is generating information that's WORTH the fees, that is, information you can't get anywhere else. Creating that kind of news is very expensive due to the time and labor involved. And it's rare even when you work at it.
  9. JournalistCJH

    JournalistCJH New Member

    Do you think newspapers have been conducting reader surveys like this one? Are they actively trying to find out whether readers will pay and/or what could convince readers to pay? It would seem like those would be important steps to take.
  10. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Reader surveys are worthless. They say they want more hard news, and then complain that there isn't enough good news. You put more features to please them, and they say they paper is full of fluff pieces.
  11. nmmetsfan

    nmmetsfan Active Member

    This is the bottom line. You've got to have value to charge a price. The value must exceed the price. It's that simple.
  12. JournalistCJH

    JournalistCJH New Member

    I'll find out whether editors know about that bottom line when I start driving from newsroom to newsroom next month. Should be interesting!
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