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“Charging online readers: not if, but how?” Editorsweblog, June 10, 2009. It is becoming increasingly clear that a proportion of general news content is going to be put behind some kind of a pay wall in upcoming months. Several publishers have expressed their intentions to start charging, and several third parties want to help them do it. Journalists don't seem to want it, it seems pretty unlikely that readers would want it, so how are publishers going to succeed? Can it restore value to good journalism which is increasingly becoming a commodity? The Editors Weblog takes a look at some of the different services on offer and strategies being considered.

Journalism Online

First, Journalism Online, a start-up founded in April by industry experts Steve Brill, Gordon Crovitz and Leo Hindery, has taken facilitating charging for online content as one of its core goals. Brill made a presentation at the NAA-organised newspaper executives' meeting in Chicago on May 28 at which Journalism Online's mission was stated as enabling "news organizations to restore the optimal mix of circulation and advertising revenue necessary to finance original reporting and editing" hence giving them the chance to "realize the revenue they deserve--and can command--from readers and distributors for their digital content."

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