The article also lists a memo from Swartz where he outlines a new business model of sorts. He still wants the papers’ Web sites to be great, asking for more linking, better blogs and deeper hyperlocalization.
“Exactly how much paid content to hold back from our free sites will be a judgment call made daily by our management, whose mission should be to run the best free Web sites in our markets without compromising our ability to get a fair price from consumers for the expensive, unique reporting and writing that we produce each day,” Steven Swartz, the president of Hearst newspapers, said in a staff memo.
Will charging for content actually work? It’s unclear because so far, it hasn’t simply because people don’t think they should have to pay for the information. Not putting up all the content online is an innovative idea but the same problem exists: people can find that information somewhere else.
Only time will tell if this move is successful or not. If it is, it will be some good news papers have been longing to hear.
Image from flickr.com.