The start of a new age for online news and journalism is upon us as online versions of traditional newspapers move towards creating a paying subscription base to view content (known as a “paywall” – a wall unless you pay).
Are we moving forward ensuring that additional revenue from the paywall will ensure journalism , the journalists and the paper they work for can survive, or are we looking at the rise of the online news website without paper medium or credibility only read by the masses due to the fact they are not behind a paywall and are free.
The death of “paper” journalism is all but guaranteed if the current trend continues…..that is unless a business model can be developed that economically supports the newspaper industry while also providing for an online “arm” for reporting. According to the Newspaper Association of America, the number of people employed in the industry fell by 18% between 1990 and 2004.
Newspapers Online advertising just isn’t cutting it with such a plethora of websites all vying for advertising revenue and the revenue generated is measley in comparison to print advertising revenue, and no where near enough to support a full staff required to write and maintain a daily news service. The implementation of a “paywall” is a last ditch effort to halt the decline of the industry and the infiltration of “Journalistic Hacks” – untrained, unqualified, untested and often unrepenting in their journalistic slander.
Those interested in news have always paid for a newspaper so why should the internet be any different. Infact the news provided on the internet and hidden behind a “paywall” can often be more current and broader in its subject matter than that of a newspaper as there is no restrictions on when the story can make an edition.
If paying a similar amount as the cost of a newspaper can stabalise the industry, strengthen the media and journalistic integrity, allow for the continuation of newspapers and the journalists who work for them……its a small price to pay.
Can we blame this “new breed” of journalism as they move to fill a niche created by the publics desire to have access to news/information at the click of the mouse. Does the average internet user care about the grammar, punctuation, structure of the articles they are reading.
Ben Parr at Mashable.com states “ In 2006, newspapers made $49.275 billion in total revenue. In 2007, it was $45.375 billion. In 2008, it dropped to $37.848 billion. In 2009, it plummeted all the way to $27.564 billion. In four years, newspaper ad revenue dropped by 44.24%.”