A few days Rupert Murdoch announced that News Corp will be charging for online news within a year. Problem is, who would pay for it?
For starters, it would stuff newspaper sales because people won’t pay for the sameish product twice – unless you got free access when you bought the paper version. And unless all news organisations decide to start charging at the same time, the online audience will just go to a free rival.
The other problem is that Australian newspapers and news sites are filled with copy from Reuters, AFP, AAP, AP and a handful of international papers. Why would anyone pay for copy they can get somewhere else for free?
If people are going to pay for online news, then you have to make it good. Really good. Which means you have to hire more journos – a novel idea – and spend money making them the best bloody journos possible.
In a piece at No Journos No News, Jonathan Este writes “Any news organisation that is thinking straight will be busily building the brand value of its top writers and photographers“.
I don’t see this happening.