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Friday, 17 July 2009 11:13

Online news will be come paid for within a year

Written by Nick Farell

Image

FT predicts

Financial Times
editor, Lionel Barber, has predicted that "almost all" news organisations will be charging for online content within a year. Barber claims that building online platforms that could charge readers on an article-by-article or subscription basis was one of the key challenges facing news organisations.

Speaking to a Media Standards Trust event at the British Academy, Barber confidently predicted that within the next 12 months, almost all news organisations will be charging for content. He is not the only one who thinks that ordinary newspapers will have to start charging. Rupert Murdoch said in May that he expected his News Corporation newspaper websites to start charging for access within a year. The New York Times, could begin charging for online news within the next three to four weeks. The Financial Times website, FT.com, has more than 1.3 million non-paying registered users worldwide, with another 110,000 paying subscribers.

Barber said there was a difference between "crafted" journalism and blogs "largely based on opinion rather than established fact becoming increasingly influential. He said that bloggers have broken important stories and will continue to do so. However they do not operate according to the same standards as those who aspire to and practice crafted journalism.

In America we guess that means long boring articles about the journalist with the news buried in the 16th paragraph. Barber claimed that bloggers were happy to report rumour as fact, arguing that readers or fellow networkers can step in to correct those "facts" if they turn out to be wrong.

At Fudzilla we have no plans to charge for news in the next year so we think Barber might be a bit wrong on this one.

Nick Farell

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