The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Well, duh

Headline in The New York Times:

Survey: Readers Don’t Want to Pay for News Online

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posted March 23, 2010 at 11:50 pm

More of the same from the Freeloading States of America: we want something for nothing. Actually, we want everything, plus ever more, for nothing. Whether it’s music, movies, TV shows, or the news, we gloat to ourselves about how clever we are to go online and get it all free. In reality, of course, it is not free: someone somewhere is paying for it, whether that be real subscribers, advertisors, or someone else, all of whom subsidize the freeloaders. I work in the publishing industry and hear regularly from people who gloat, with a smug little smile, that they get their news “free” online, often reading news from the very newspapers and wire services they are too cheap and selfish to subscribe to. For now, advertising and real subscribers can subsidize their freeloading. But journalism requires resources: people with the time, resources, and opportunity to research and investigate, which they cannot do professionally in their spare time. So, eventually the real subscribers will die off (yep, they’re mostly old and still obey archaic ideas like buying what you consume), the newsrooms will all close, and no one will be left to gather the news. Then where will the gloating, selfish, cheap, freeloading prigs get their “free” news?

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