US newspaper websites – take a break, time for ‘drastic action’, says petition

UPDATE: A video intro from the petition’s creator TJ Sullivan calling for drastic action by the industry and finds out more from Sullivan himself.

An online petition has been set up calling on US newspapers and the Associated Press to shutdown their websites to non-paying subscribers for a week (July 4-10) and make original news content .

The petition, which currently has 120 signatures, wants to highlight ‘the threat posed to democracy by the loss of professionally staffed and ethically bound American newspapers’.

It is not, the blurb points out, an endorsement of any paid-for access model.

The likelihood of any newspapers heeding this call….? We’ll be speaking to the petition’s organiser to find out their motivation. One signature comes from ‘Ostrich with head in sand’, an unusual moniker.

(Though perhaps Gannett might not be so against it – the publisher could organise its week of unpaid work to fit these dates)

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