Listening Post
Behind paywalls
For years, print publications watched helplessly as the internet ate into their market, but they are fighting back.
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2012 10:07

'Stop the press’ – it used to be a positive phrase that implied breaking news which just could not wait for the next issue.  Now, it is a phrase that is anything but positive as presses in the western world looked to be stopped forever.

And it is not just print media that is struggling to survive. Ever wondered how the dying print industry has been able to afford to give away its online content for free – it cannot. In this digital age, where everyone is used to getting everything for free, the majority of newspapers are still searching for profitable online business strategies that can entice both consumers and advertisers in such competitive and ubiquitous market.

For years, print publications watched helplessly as the internet ate into their market. However, over the past two years newspapers have been fighting back.

They have barricaded their websites behind paywalls  - if you want to read you have got to pay. In July 2010 the Times of London set up its paywall; now there are numerous newspapers sites charging for access.

The Listening Post's Flo Phillips investigates who is winning the online war.

"If you want to read what The Times is doing, you have to pay .... when we were talking about this at the start, people said this is gonna be a disaster, there's gonna be nobody there, nobody's gonna sign up. That clearly has not happened, we've clearly shown that you can find a market for high quality news amongst people in Britain and the rest of the world.

I think there's nothing ideological about we're doing, we're not doing this to make some kind of political point, we're doing this to secure the future of our journalism."

Tom Whitwell, the editorial director, Times Digital


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