Paying for content…?

I read this article by Michael Learmonth titled “Wanted: Online Payment Plan for Print” – it’s long, but a great read.

“It was as if the media woke up, saw its shadow and realized that the print world, including American capital-J journalism, is in mid-collapse. It’s finally dawning that this isn’t just about the economy, and it’s not going to suddenly get better when the Dow finally starts chugging upward again.”

There are several differing opinions in this piece: MSNBC.com President Charlie Tillinghast says, “Consumers won’t pay; it’s just that simple.” But the owner of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Walter E. Hussman, has been charging individuals $4.95 a month to access his publication’s website. He says their circulation has remained “steady” while others newspapers are floundering.

“Is anyone outside the Democrat-Gazette successfully charging for general news content? “The reality is no,” said Randy Bennett, senior VP at the Newspaper Association of America.”

What do you think? What’s the answer?

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