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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



The new media model?

You can't escape talk of the declining news business. On NPR, this morning, there was a segment on nonprofit and employee-owned models. This from an interview news corporation Belo executive vice president Jim Maroney III (publishers of the Dallas Morning News):

Q: Rumors have circulated for a while that perhaps The Dallas Morning News
will begin charging for at least some of its online content. How likely is that
at this point?

A: Two years ago, I would have told you that asking people to pay for
content on the Web is a ridiculous notion. Today, I will tell you it's almost
imperative we experiment with it to see what the consumer will respond to. We
know the consumer is paying for newspapers on Kindle.
So there's that example. Maybe it's something like $5.95 a month. But somebody's
willing to pay for it for some reason. That's a discussion I would bet most
newspapers, including this one, are having in a way where, two years ago,
they didn't.

For us, I wouldn't have thought we'd be having the discussion. I was
convinced it wasn't possible. I am not so certain about that any longer, and
some experimentation will happen. The consumer will tell us if it's a bad idea.
We can try anything we want, but, ultimately, the consumer will tell us if it's
a good idea or not, and if we find out not enough make it worth doing, then,
obviously, whatever experiment we're doing is not a path to go down."

Would you pay for online news? What if the choice was that if you didn't, it might no longer exist?

- Terri Hallenbeck

Wonder how much it will cost me to get my economic guidance from WPTZ's Gus Manimpale and Stephanie Boring?

That's the most ridiculous promo I've ever seen.
I would pay (and have paid) for online news in a "newspaper" format. The TimesReader program from the NY Times is a great model, and one I would hope others follow . . . because it makes you feel like you're reading a newspaper, not looking at normal webpage format.

I do not enjoy the websites of either the BFP or the Times Argus. Both sites try to be something "different" than a newspaper - adding silliness like videos, chat rooms, etc. The sites I like are the ones that look and feel like a newspaper, and are updated regularly: Washington Post, NY Times, etc.

Not to beat a dead horse, but click on the BFP and TA sites: you see headlines about stories, but no "teaser paragraphs" that would make me more likely to click thru to the story. And please, both papers need to put a stop to this idiotic "slideshow" fad on their pages. Again, make it look and feel like a newspaper, not a TV News site!

So my suggestion to BFP is that there are those of us willing to pay to read a NEWSPAPER online, but make your site look like an actual newspaper page (again, TimesReader is a phenomenal example). Drop the silly videos and audio stuff and, most importantly, keep those sites updated constantly throughout the day. Fresh material being added all the time makes me more willing to pay to access the site (in other words, don't ask me to pay to access a site when the copy of the BFP at my workplace has all the same articles).
Just imagine - actually PAYING money to try to comprehend the drooling, hydrophobic rants of jw!
I might pay if I didn't have to remember another password to log on...My brain is full up...
go deb markowitz
"As long as it's legitimate news and information I'll continue to pay for it."

Shut the hell up you pious fraud. "Pay for it" with what? Your welfare money? You're not subsidizing anything, freakshow. We're subsidizing you. You're the best argument for "workfare" there could be.
Go Deb!
Well, on the bright side, Rupert Mudoch's News Corp. announced a net loss of $6.4 billion in the final quarter of the year, the company's second fiscal quarter, as it wrote down the value of its TV operations, newspapers and information services to the tune of $8.4 billion.

And they say there is no God.
What job did you apply for today, jw?
Doug Racine for Governor in 2010
I would pay for news. We pay when we buy a newspaper, right.

And I can't wait to see the Democratic primary for Governor.
Time has a good article on this. On-line users should make micro-payments every time they click on a story. What we need is one company to keep track of all this and bill us.

Racine all the way!
. . . to hell.
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