Free online news: newspaper threat or opportunity..?

VIDEO didn’t kill the radio star, and I doubt that the internet will kill the newspaper, but the BBC has taken a look at the perceived threat to newspapers from online news. David Reid writes that “there is not much point, for example, putting exactly the same stuff on the website as they put in the paper”. He continues: “A fully functioning media needs more than fast reacting rolling news, it also needs newspapers which spend more time chewing over what the news actually means. There is a problem with free: it often comes unpackaged and without the know-how to understand it.” Reid seems to be somewhat in favour of the ‘viewspaper’, although sometimes I worry that the dividing line between comment/analysis and news is becoming blurred.

  • Richard Gadsden

    I wonder how long it will be before someone creates a newspaper that only comments on the news and does not report it at all – perhaps just running a PA summary of the news to set the scene, at least at first.

  • Rory

    I worry that the dividing line between comment/analysis and news is becoming blurred.

    Oh I shouldn’t worry, Gonzo, it takes a very astute man indeed to notice that there is any dividing line at all. Fox News wouldn’t recognise a dividing line if it crashed into the White House during Thanksgiving Dinner.

  • Henry94

    I certainly buy far fewer papers than I did five years ago. I subscribed to the Irish Times a year ago but I’m going to let that lapse. Other than John Waters I don’t find any of it as interesting as what’s online. And almost all columnists write the same articles over and over again.

    The obvious step for papers is to cut the cover price. They are not worth what they are asking for them. They may be worth about 50c.

  • aquifer

    Why establish motives that explain? Cover incidents accidents and arguments and you can sell the same story again every week.

    A bigger con is paying for cable TV that contains advertising. Paying to be sold stuff? Unreal.