Paying for the news: A link-a-thon

by Mathew on February 10, 2009 · 24 comments

If you’re not interested in the debate over micropayments and whether that will help save the newspaper industry, you’re probably not going to be interested in this post. If you are interested — as I am — you can find plenty of food for discussion in the links that follow. As more than one person has pointed out (including Clay Shirky), this isn’t really a new debate, but it has taken on an increasing urgency. My own view is that micropayments are not the solution, and that newspapers have to try harder to create value around their content, rather than trying to get people to pay for the news. But I am trying my best to keep an open mind (Note: newer links are at the bottom).

— Stephen Brill’s plan to save the New York Times with micropayments:
http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=45&aid=158210

— Walter Isaacson writes in Time about a payment scheme for news
http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1877191,00.html

— David Carr of the NYT proposes (or wishes for) an “iTunes for news”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/12/business/media/12carr.html

— a response to the “iTunes for news” idea:
http://www.thebigmoney.com/articles/impressions/2009/02/09/micro-economics

— Clay Shirky on why micropayment schemes don’t work
http://www.shirky.com/writings/fame_vs_fortune.html

— a more recent, and better, update from Shirky:
http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2009/02/why-small-payments-wont-save-publishers/

— a counterpoint that says micropayments will work:
http://browsing.justdiscourse.com/2009/02/09/can-apple-save-the-publishing-industry/

— Henry Blodget recommends the NYT go back to a pay wall:
http://www.alleyinsider.com/2009/2/murdoch-new-york-times-nuts-not-to-charge-subscription-fee-nyt

— Felix Salmon of Portfolio magazine responds to Blodget:
http://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs/market-movers/2009/01/21/how-not-to-fix-the-new-york-times

— another argument for the TimesSelect model:
http://www.ojr.org/ojr/people/gstorch/200901/1631/

— Salon founder Scott Rosenberg on why micropayments won’t work:
http://www.wordyard.com/2009/02/05/isaacsons-pitch-for-micropayments/

— A response to Isaacson: “news has to stand on its own two feet”
http://www.hitsville.org/2009/02/05/hey-walter-issacson%E2%80%94would-it-kill-you-to-cough-up-for-a-nyt-subscription/

— Chris “Long Tail” Anderson on free vs. paid:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123335678420235003.html

— some thoughts from Jeff Jarvis:
http://www.buzzmachine.com/2009/02/09/can-journalism-go-with-the-flow/

— Rex Sorgatz, formerly of MSNBC, imagines a micro-payment system:
http://www.fimoculous.com/archive/post-5713.cfm

— Alan Mutter: The future is micro-payments, and a cartel:
http://newsosaur.blogspot.com/2009/02/how-to-charge-for-content-theoretically.html

— Michael Kinsley: “You can’t sell news by the slice”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/opinion/10kinsley.html?ref=opinion

— Journalism teacher Mark Hamilton on micro-payments:
http://www.tamark.ca/students/2009/02/08/paying-a-little/

— Nick Carr on supply and demand in the news business:
http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2009/02/misreading_news.php

— Steve Outing thinks Kachingle payment scheme is the answer:
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/columns/stopthepresses_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003940234

— How the NYT can make money w/o charging for news:
http://www.ojr.org/ojr/people/tomeditor/200902/1643/

— Jane Stevens of ReJurno on how charging won’t work:
http://rejurno.com/2009/02/10/chargemoney/

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