Bring On The Wall??

You wouldn’t expect to have a drink at a bar without handing over some money first, nor walk past a supermarket till with a basket full of groceries. We’d never stroll out of a newsagent and not pay for our newspaper, so why is it that we’ve come to expect to get our news for free?

It’s no secret that ever since digital media evolved the way we consume our news, newspaper publications have been in catastrophic decline. But what’s the solution? An increase in advertisement, the Press Association pitching for public money, or are pay walls to become the online norm?

It’s been announced that Times Online will bring in pay walls from the Spring, but the UK Editor of Paid Content, Rob Andrews, has conducted extensive research which suggests this method won’t work for the majority of publications. When asked: what would you do if your favourite news site started charging? 74% of people admitted they would find another free site and only 5% said they would pay to continue reading.

Whilst it is true that The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal have subscriptions, business titles are able to do this since they have wealthy customers with a more disposable income, something which readers of other newspapers might not.

Andrews believes that B2B professionals that publishers are targeting with niche information, like Farmer’s Weekly, do have a future because customers are willing to pay for the unique information they receive. But can you also charge for general consumer news like The Mirror and The Sun? Probably not.

And even if people are willing to pay something, there’s not as much value placed on digital content since much of it is easily replicable elsewhere.

Even as a journalism student, I’m not convinced I would pay for online content – it’s just not as satisfying as reading something that you yourself are holding and I don’t feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. Pay walls won’t convince me to buy online news, I’d rather revert to the old school practice of buying a newspaper.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: