Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Can we pay for online content now please?

I am writing this in relation to job cuts for the Metro newspaper. I know this seems a bit late on in the paying for online content discussion but I think I have made up my mind for now! I don't know what people will think of this and to be honest I have been known to sit on the fence but I am just going to throw this out there. I THINK WE SHOULD PAY FOR ONLINE NEWSPAPER CONTENT. There I have said it. But here is why.

I think it will save the newspaper. As in the print version, the old school hard copy that you can hold. My logic is this,with regards to PR. If you go online, you can copy and paste an article, print it for free and demonstrate coverage to a client. Now, you can do this as many times as you want. No limits and it is free. The paper is not making any money, just gaining coverage, and a bit more advertising revenue. To buy a hard copy of a paper for cuttings and AVE you would have to buy that paper twice, assuming a copy for you and your agency and a copy for the client. Now if this was repeated on the internet, papers would get the advertising revenue and money for copies.

Paying a higher subscription fee and making the print version cheaper, could save traditional hard copy newspapers and countless journalist jobs? So we don't have to keep seeing articles like this and we can still get our chippy chips wrapped properly!

Now I don't know how PR will take this as it will mean more of a budget going on AVE, and to some peoples annoyance it may take up more room in the office and cost to send off for recycling.

Maybe this won't save journo's jobs but in this world where Journalism and Public Relations rely on each other and can have a love/hate relationship, couldn't this ultimately help us all out in the long term?

UPDATE: This discussion carries on here with Neville Hobson (@jangles) Where it is safe to say I wasn't as clued up on my theory as I thought!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jack. I see your point but I would ask the question: why are we trying to save jobs? If there is no market for newspapers (which, actually, I do believe there is) then why try to orchestrate one.

    In fact, your suggestion may have the opposite effect: papers are cheaper so less revenue from hard copies, but no-one pays for e.g. Daily Mirror content online because the stories of interest are likely to be on Google News or BBC etc.

    The bottom-line is that we are changing the way we produce news and the way we consumer news. If the press wants to survive the it needs to understand the current and future situation and think cleverly about ways to integrate itself.

    Trying to fight against the changes being driven by the internet (as the music industry is finding) is fighting the tide of human nature. You can't beat it - although Murdoch will give it a damn good go.