TLP: Extra, Extra to Read All About It?

Sunday, February 21, 2010 , 0 Comments

cats make everything on the internet ok
photo credit: Nieman Foundation

Far be it from The Lazy Paperboy to say that newspapers shouldn't be able to charge for their product. Back when he was a not-so-lazy paperboy and actually delivered the news -- starting before the sun came up -- it was that nickel per paper that helped fund all manner of high school adventures.

But that was before the Internet. And it was not in this economy. Those two factors are leading more and more newspapers to consider charging for online content, or more precisely, considering whether they can make it pay to make readers pay.

The Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity looked at what's going on:
Currently, only a handful of news organizations charge for online content. Those include The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and Newsday. However, the recent announcement by the New York Times to charge for their online content has opened the door for several other newspapers to extract cash from online readers. Papers like North Carolina’s The Fayetteville Observer, Boston’s Global Post and The Intelligencer Journal in Lancaster, PA are all going to announce in the coming weeks that they will charge for online news.

Recently, Nielsen asked more than 27,000 consumers across 52 countries if they would pay for online news, and the answer is a resounding “maybe.” Not surprisingly, 85% said that they want free content but 71% said if they are going to pay for content, then it needs to be better quality then what is currently available.
What people may not realize is that the "online" news they read -- whether it's in Google News, on Yahoo or through sites like Drudge, pretty much all comes from newspapers, a lot of it distributed by the AP. So there is this disconnect between "I don't read the newspaper" and letting those papers fail financially and wanting news up to the minute online.

There's still a newspaper in The Lazy Paperboy's driveway every morning. Especially the extra hefty Sunday edition. But are the plastic bags really necessary? That's really lazy, even for me.

The Lazy Paperboy

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.