From today’s (free online) Guardian:
America’s most popular newspaper website today announced that the era of free online journalism is drawing to a close. The New York Times, the so-called grey lady of US media, has become the biggest publisher yet to set out plans for a paywall around its digital offering, abandoning the once unshakeable orthodoxy that internet users will not pay for news. Struggling with an evaporation of advertising and a downward drift in street corner sales, the NYT motto: “All the news that’s fit to print” intends to introduce a “metered” model at the beginning of 2011. Readers will be required to pay when they have exceeded a set number of its online articles per month.
The decision puts the 159-year-old newspaper, which lent its name to Times Square, on the charging side of an increasingly wide chasm in the media industry. Rupert Murdoch intends to erect similar paywalls around the online offerings of his papers, which include the Times, the Sun and the News of the World.
But others, including the Guardian, have said they will not charge internet readers and certain papers, such as London’s Evening Standard, have gone further in abandoning readership revenue by making their print editions free.
With media organisations in NZ growing their online presence it will be interesting to see where this trail leads us.