Paying for news content: The continuum spreads wider

7 min read

The debate rages on about whether news publishers — especially newspapers — should charge for news on their websites. Meanwhile, new technology solutions keep popping up to facilitate paid online content, though the decision on what to charge for and what to offer free remains with individual publishers. These new vendors merely enable charging for…

‘Voluntary won’t work!’ reminds me of ‘Craig who?’

2 min read

Almost forgot to plug my latest Editor & Publisher Online column here: “Readers Want to Pay for News Online — So Let Them.” It’s a summary of the growing number of solutions to allow online users to voluntarily financially support the websites and blogs they visit, or like, or individual stories (and other content). A…

The modern coupon (simple version)

1 min read

I can’t imagine this is new, but it’s the first time I’ve gone to a restaurant and received a coupon at the table prompting me to use my cell phone to get a free item. Last night when my family and I went to Beau Jo’s Pizza in Boulder, we each got the coupon above….

RSS madness (please resubscribe)

1 min read

Today I finally got around to fixing this blog’s RSS feeds, which got messed up some time ago when I stopped using another domain name and fouled up my Feedburner settings. In repairing the damage, I seem to have lost lots of people who subscribed to this blog’s feed. Ugh. If you’d like to be…

The high cost of charging pennies rather than free

3 min read

My friend Pete Welter passed along some fascinating research about consumer behavior when it comes to free vs. paid products and services. There are some lessons for the newspaper industry as it debates things like micropayments vs. free news content on the web, and how it will handle charging for news (or not) on mobile…

No solution to newspaper problems? Hah!

7 min read

I must say, I’ve never felt this pessimistic about the future of newspaper companies. (Thanks, API for suggesting a suicidal strategy to the industry.) Sure, I’ve been uncertain for a LONG time that newspaper companies could make a graceful transition into the digital age, but I’d felt that when things got bad enough for the…

Reporters as waiters (or the joy of tipping)

1 min read

We all know that journalists are poorly paid, in general, and long have been. Now with news companies laying off staff and cutting wages of those remaining, it’s even worse. That got me thinking about my last blog post about a new tipping system that allows a reader to tip a specific writer for an…

Get paid to write online (pay me, please!)

1 min read

Since much of my attention these days seems to be on how to get writers and media companies paid on the web, allow me to pass along the latest scheme I’ve learned of. Payyattention.com (2 y’s?) looks to be promising for bloggers and individual writers wanting their fans to voluntarily pay for their work. The…

Alternatives to paid-online-news cliff jumping

6 min read

If you’ve read my columns or blog lately, you’ll know that I’m not a fan of forcing web users to pay for news content. (See previous blog item posted earlier today.) I DO want people to pay news companies to support the important journalism that they do, but the dangers of cutting off a news…

What’s Journalism Online’s real intent?

8 min read

Over at the increasingly wonderful Neiman Journalism Lab blog, Zachery Seward has published a transcript of his interview with Journalism Online founder Steven Brill. (If you prefer you can listen to the 23-minute audio interview included with the article.) JO, as most of you know, is an attempt to allow newspaper and magazine publishers to…

I may advocate free web news, but let’s not be dogmatic

3 min read

I’m on record as being opposed to charging for generic news content (including locally reported stories) on newspaper websites. I covered that in my last Editor & Publisher Online column, where I also outlined an alternative strategy to supplement weak online ad revenues. I also liked Steve Buttry’s “Seven reasons charging for content won’t work,”…