Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Back to the Morning Paper?

It’s been a few years now since I started reading newspapers online–for free. Of course this seemed like a windfall at the time and very quickly I became seriously addicted to this morning habit. I armchair travelled with coffee in hand from the Globe to the New York Times to the Guardian and then peeked at the Merc and the Toronto Star and a few others if I had time. In my reading of the news during this period, it became painfully obvious that future of newspapers was a very real problem, exacerbated of course by the financial avalanche of 2008. Advertisers fled and were very slow to use online means to market their goods. And if they did, they didn’t want to pay much. Trouble–for my paradise anyway.

Then the New York Times asked its online subscribers to pay. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t jump on the opportunity. That is, until I saw the movie Page One, which basically was a look into the innards of the New York Times with all of its dedicated journalists, editors, and many other employees who put out this incredible product every day. I didn’t want to lose Paul Krugman, David Carr, or any of the other talented and creative minds that I encountered every morning. They need to make a living and we need them. When I came home from the movie that night I became a subscriber: $20.00 per month.

Recently the New York Times decided that readers could have 10 articles for free, after which you would HAVE to become a subscriber. Now the Globe has put up a similar paywall. I haven’t subscribed to the Globe as I don’t think it is as good a paper and I think that the price is too high. If they bring it down I will subscribe. The Star will be next. I will not be subscribing. But I do have an inkling of what may happen in the newspaper business. Perhaps people will go back to buying the real paper. Not every day, but now and then. That would be a good thing. Trends come and go and the reading of paper news might just be on the upswing.

- Barb

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