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Fees And Free-Riders: The News Content Paywall Debate

The New York Times “paywall” goes up. Others, too. Are online readers willing to pay for news that was once free?

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Since the rise of the Internet, the tide has been running hard against newspapers.

The web took eyeballs and advertisers, but it didn’t make up lost revenues. What’s more, it trained readers to expect the news for free.

Monday, the New York Times tries to turn the tide — it’s putting up a “paywall.” Read a little of the Times online, and it’s still free. Read more, and you’ll have to pay.

There’s a raging debate over whether that is wise and necessary or just lunacy. Every newspaper is watching the experiment.

This hour On Point: Paying for news — the paywall goes up at the New York Times.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Ken Doctor, a news industry analyst and regular columnist for Nieman Media Lab.org and  his own blog  Newsonomics.com.

John Paton, CEO of the Journal Register Company, which is one of the largest news and information companies in United States with more than 300 print and online products, reaching 16 million users a month.

David Carr, writes the Media Equation column for the New York Times.

David Hayes, web developer and creator of NYT Clean, a tool designed to get around the Times paywall, found on his blog Euri.ca.

More:

Watch John Paton and Ken Doctor at this week’s Newspaper Association of America convetion session on “Newspapers—A Path Forward.”

How the papers across the country paywalls stack up here.

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