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Tony Grist

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Pay Walls [Jun. 16th, 2010|10:42 am]
Tony Grist
The pay walls have gone up at The Times and The Sunday Times. Goodbye guys, it was nice knowing you.

Of course Rupert Murdoch is entirely within his rights to charge for content, but I think he's miscalculating. He's an old bloke and he doesn't understand the Net. The old newspapers no longer have a monopoly on news and comment- and if they ask us to pay for what we've become accustomed to getting for free, we'll simply go elsewhere.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how things work out. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2010-06-16 10:14 am (UTC)
Yup, I agree - I think this is a disastrous decision. (For him, anyway!)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-06-16 10:32 am (UTC)
They're trying to sell us the change as "exciting". Do they think we're stupid or something?
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2010-06-16 11:19 am (UTC)
The paywalls never came down at the Wall Street Journal, another Murdoch property. It's (possibly not coincidentally) one of the few newspapers in the U.S. that's doing well.

I don't mind paying for content; I suspect that eventually we will find ourselves returning to the old AOL model, in which you pay for access but some middleman assembles the content.
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2010-06-16 11:29 am (UTC)
But the Wall Street Journal is something of a trade publication as well as a newspaper, and so may have more of a captive audience? (I can just see all those financial professionals writing their subscriptions off against tax.) The same would probably apply to the FT here: but the Times is just one right-leaning broadsheet newspaper amongst many, and its easy enough to switch to the Telegraph.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2010-06-16 12:42 pm (UTC)
The WSJ is also the only right-facing major paper in this country, and as such has a pretty loyal subscribe base. EDITED TO ADD: I also write off my subscription to my Philadelphia paper, which I need for work...

Edited at 2010-06-16 12:43 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-06-16 02:43 pm (UTC)
I'm in agreement with steepholm- the WSJ is a special case. Britain has four national broadsheets. My guess would be that the disappearance of one of them behind pay walls is going to mean better traffic for the other three.

For the record I've been in the habit of reading all four online. I'll miss The Times for one or two of its writers, but not enough to pay for it at a time when money is tight.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2010-06-16 03:27 pm (UTC)
I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal and the Philadelphia Inquirer. I will do without a lot before I cancel either subscription.
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[User Picture]From: wlotus
2010-06-16 01:01 pm (UTC)
The NYT did a pay model a few years back and lost money, because people can easily get the news elsewhere for free. I wonder what is different about this model that makes them think it will work.

I didn't see pay well on the site this morning.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-06-16 02:52 pm (UTC)
I suppose Murdoch is gambling on The Times being a uniquely prestigious title, but I don't see that it is- or not any longer. There are three other British national broadsheets- all offering similar news coverage- and a range of comment from left (the Guardian) to right (the Daily Telegraph).
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2010-06-16 03:40 pm (UTC)
Agreed! We can simply go elsewhere. Actually, my provider gives me daily news and weather, etc. as part of my internet connection fee. Why should we have to pay twice?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-06-16 06:13 pm (UTC)
I have that as well- and then there's the BBC site. I'm a bit of a news junkie. If this development cuts down on the amount of time I spend reading newspapers it's probably a good thing.
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2010-06-18 04:57 pm (UTC)
Me, too. Especially since there is such a dearth of unbiased reporting.
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[User Picture]From: hafren
2010-06-19 03:40 pm (UTC)
The BBC site is key - which is why Murdoch will try to get his pals in the Tory government to go after it and whittle it down. But as things stand, it's the best place to find news and while it's there, nobody needs the Times.

I won't subscribe, not because I can't afford it but because I can't be bothered. Setting up accounts, remembering to pay, giving someone else my details - nah... As you say, he's old, I don't think he gets how available news is online.

(here accidentally following link from mutual friend)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-06-20 08:17 am (UTC)
All the news sites carry the same material. If one of them nets an enormous scoop all the others will be onto it and following it up within minutes. All I'll miss are one or two of the Times' writers- notably Matthew Parris.
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