Tuesday, May 25, 2010

10 years late

A revised version of this post was published in the Post Register May 30, 2010.

"It is time to stop giving our journalism away". ... giving readers free access to its content was "undermining the value of our journalism, undermining the value of the Times and undermining the perception that journalism and news has a value."
-James Harding, Times editor
Read more about the Times of London's new subscription plan (please, don't call it a pay wall), then review my arguments starting from 2002 why such plans are not only right but essential to journalism's future.

Harding said: "Everyone talks a great deal about the viral capabilities of the web. We're worried that viral capability wipes us out and actually what's much more important to us is that we create a sustainable economics for the future of journalism online."

He acknowledged the online charging plan represented "a big step" but said it was essential that the paper generated the resources needed to invest in reporting.

"What's at the heart of the Times and what's at the heart of good journalism everywhere is reporting and making sure you can continue to send people to Afghanistan, to Iraq, to the Gulf of Mexico, into the business world, covering sport. That kind of thing is absolutely essential and you cannot give that away," Harding added.

Now, read Patricia Handschiegel's salient reflections.

All together, and (to quote Arlo Guthrie), with FEELIN': "Well, duh!"

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