This is an interesting post. As a journalist, I still have a massive problem with content being given away for free and the way in which consumers now assume it should be free. However, it also spells out what I think is the fundamental problem: the newspapers have been run for 200 years on the same business model, in which the biggest innovation might have been to launch a Sunday paper. As a result, they haven’t been very fleet of foot in response to the challenge of the Internet
Whenever newspaper executives get together to bemoan the fate of their industry, someone inevitably brings up the so-called “original sin” of the online news business — namely, a failure to charge for content when the web was new. One of the latest manifestations of this idea appears in an upcoming e-book called “Why American Newspapers Gave Away the Future,” from former Wall Street Journal (s nws) executive Richard Tofel, which looks at the failure of newspapers on a number of levels. But this theory that newspapers could have somehow won a war against the internet if they had just charged users for content misses the point — the point being that the media game is now being played according to different rules.
Although Tofel’s book isn’t available yet (it will be available for download on Wednesday), media blogger Jim Romenesko has some excerpts from the text, and among other…
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