Is charging for online content here to stay?

questionIn News:The changing media landscape has raised a lot of concerns for traditional news media. Every now and then, there is news about a newspaper closing or going online. The mushrooming news websites face the critical question of revenue generation. The Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal are already charging readers, though both also include some free coverage (most likely to entice prospects into subscribing and not get on the wrong side of these occasional readers). Closer home in New Zealand, The National Business Review has started paid content to use their monopoly in business commentary to their advantage. The big move, however, came with News Corp head Rupert Murdoch announcing that all his leading online publications including the Times and the Sun will become paid for by next year.

Now Google has created waves by offering proposals to publishers for using its famous Google checkout to charge readers for online content. This is in response to the Newspaper Association of America asking tech companies to suggest ways to generate revenue from online publications.

I agree that most publishers are in a financial mess, more so now in the times of recession. This is leading to a dip in jobs in news media, which eventually leads to issues about content management. Attention spans on the Internet are in seconds…most readers only look for breaking news (but that too is turning over to Twitter) and don’t even read till the end of a story. This is causing desperation among writers who are churning out stories by the dozen to keep the webpage rolling. All of this can not be good for quality and credibility.

But will charging for content solve the problems or aggravate them? Well only time will tell…but it seems this debate is not ending soon.

Related:

Changing Media Landscape

Tech giants offer ideas on charging readers online

Variety to begin charging for online content

Read all about it online? It may cost you

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