Many question whether the decision to charge for online news helps or hurts companies in a recession.
Wired PR News – While news sources scramble to find effective means of staying financially stable during the recession, much debate has ensued on whether one of the most obvious options is hurtful or helpful to online news mediums. As reported by Yahoo! Tech News, some news resources have resorted to making customers pay for their services in order to save their print publications and increase falling revenue, while others deem the measure financial suicide.
As noted in the report, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Idaho Post Register have seen stability in print publications sales due to providing free access to their online news for print subscribers. Many other papers are reportedly gearing up to follow suit. However, some believe that such a move will hurt online advertising and discourage online readership.
Despite the risks, some still see a benefit in charging such fees. Walter Isaacson with the Aspen Instiute is quoted in the report as stating it, “could create a discipline on journalism that produces more things of value… In that sense, this advertising crisis could have a silver lining. We could end up getting better journalism and a better business model out of it.”