Interesting round-up from Techdirt on how newspaper companies and titles report on their own paywall plans. The post follows news that US company Gannett, which owns a number of regional US newspapers and the UK’s Newsquest group, is beginning a paywall experiment.
Argues Mike Masnick for Techdirt:
They give misleading headlines, they pretend that paywalls are some huge journalistic advance (rather than just a business model choice – and one that’s been tried and failed a bunch), and most importantly, they all totally bury the lede, and don’t bring up the paywall until many paragraphs into the article.
What we’re seeing is the implicit realization that these newspapers know a paywall won’t work. If it was something their audience wanted, they would be upfront and honest about it. Or if they had a good rationale for the decision they would be upfront and honest about it. Instead they have to be misleading, defensive and hide the important point. Quite an “experiment” by Gannett…
Related reading: From news:rewired – the nouveau niche, the Times’ Tom Whitwell, Reed Business Information’s Karl Schneider and MSN UK’s Alastair Bruce on the future of paid-for news.