Thursday, October 1, 2015

Newspapers - cutting their own throats?

Are newspapers cutting their own throats?

The public stopped buying papers to wrap the garbage in, as newspapers went digital.

I recall asking John Rung several years ago if the Northwest Herald would ever charge readers of its online edition. His answer was something like, "No way!"

And here we are today. Of course, times do change. But, instead of teasing readers and "selling" them value in order to attract their $10/month, the Northwest Herald will let you see a headline and then sometimes ask you a couple of questions, telling you to answer the questions to continue reading, and then spring the nasty "Pay now or else" page on you.

I contend that newspapers only irritate readers and drive them farther away. And toward other media. And soon newspapers will be gone forever. At least, the Chicago Tribune is brave enough to flag "Pay-to-read" articles with the little blue digital symbol.

The Northwest Herald would like me to pay for its digital edition; so would the Chicago Tribune. So would The State, in Columbia, S.C. So would other newspapers that I occasionally glance at. I am NOT going to pay $10/mo. to read each one. Do newspaper owners ever stop to think for even a minute about how they are driving readers away?

How did they all decide on $9-10/month? Price-fixing? Are digital newspaper costs the same, all over the country. I don't think so.

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