This week the Herald will provide details of how its recently announced paywall will work.
From Toby Manhire at Spinoff:
New Zealand media push notifications cannot often be accused of downplaying news, but the Herald’s announcement this afternoon of “one of the biggest New Zealand media moves of 2019” was if anything an understatement. After years of to-ing and fro-ing, the adoption of a paywall for the online version of New Zealand’s biggest newspaper is a massive deal for its owner, NZME, of course. But it’s a massive deal for New Zealand journalism more widely.
With a few notable exceptions, online news has been free in this country since the dawn of the internet. It might seem a wild thought to some people, but it costs money to do good journalism.
It turns out the idea that digital advertising would swoop in to pick up the tab abandoned by print advertising was a great big prank. The business of journalism continues to atrophy, around the world and in New Zealand. And so the fortunes of the Herald’s experiment affect us all.
The question everyone is asking is which side of the wall will Mike Hosking be on?
And the more important question is what will the paywall do? Will it improve things or make it worse?
The argument in favour of a paywall is compelling. The slide in media quality since Facebook and Twitter started to hive off advertising income is very self evident.
It appears that the important expensive reporting that involves investigation and analysis will be behind the wall. No doubt we will have to pay to read the likes of Kirsty Johnson, Dave Fisher, Simon Wilson and Matt Nippert to name a few. And the clickbait will remain free for everyone to click away at. Sorry but Hosking’s rants will continue to be free although when you think about it this is probably an appropriate price.
This will have political implications. Although we already have it, think Politik and Newsroom for instance, this move will further divide the media into free trash and more expensive good stuff.
And this shows why Radio New Zealand continues to be a gem in our media landscape. And why it has to be protected at all costs.