Posted by: benk1988 | November 30, 2009

The dawn of pay-per-click news

Everything has its price, almost everything it seems is a commodity to be bought and sold. News is no exception. With the dawn of Sky News came a much bigger and more intimidating rival to the BBC. ITV News was left looking lost as Murdoch’s millions began buying up all the latest technology and quickly established satellite TV as a major player on the news scene. However it would now seem that this duopoly between Sky and BBC is facing a new threat, an online threat. Now for the first ever time news sites are charging to readers to access their content. Is this the next step to new media capitalism or a feeble attempt to garner higher profit margins in a struggling industry.

The Johnstone Press is the first organisation to request their readers to pay to access their stories. If they do not wish to do this they are directed to buy hard copies of their newspapers. The £5 fee for a three-month subscription will permit readers access to, the Worksop Guardian, the Ripley and Heanor News, the Whitby Gazette and the Northumberland Gazette. The trial also includes a couple of papers in Scotland.

The attempt to force readers to pay for content has been mooted by media-mogul Rupert Murdoch, however he is yet to show his hand with regards to how he would attract people to pay for his Sky based content compared to just going to the BBC that is already paid for through the license fee. Although with regard to regional news this may be slightly more realistic. With the standard regional paper costing between 30-40p the consumer would only have to buy 13 papers to make the investment of £5 financially viable. However this is only the case as there will be few other regional news providers offering free access to information.

This is just a trial, but if successful it may become permanent and more and more news corporations will be looking to secure their futures in the cut throat world of new media.

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