As print advertising revenue continues to decline, publishers are debating whether or not to charge for content online. According to a report conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, unveiled this week at the McGraw-Hill Media Summit in New York, 40 percent of bloggers—on their own blogs or on message board postings—said they would, or already do, pay for news content online.
What was one of the most common reasons why? Because they “don’t want the quality of news to decline.” Really? How noble.
Let’s be serious. If all original news sites put up paid walls today the majority of bloggers would find themselves out of business. Sure, “walled gardens” online are old school, but charging micropayments or subscription fees for premium content may not be too far off. What would happen to bloggers who make their living regurgitating (hopefully at least linking to) the work of professional journalists?
To be honest, FOLIO: accesses a good amount of news, if not just for background, for free online. Would I be open to paying subscription fees to sites I think are valuable sources of quality, reliable news? Sure, but not because it’s the right thing to do, necessarily. I’d pay up because that content improves the quality of my own original reporting.