Increasingly, major newspaper websites require persons to pay for subscriptions to access their news stories online.
What Some Newspapers Do
The websites of the London Times and the Wall Street Journal were the first two major news sites I noticed charging for online access to articles. Then the New York Times limited free online access to twenty articles per month, which it then reduced to ten per month.
Here in Kentucky where I live, the Frankfort State Journal, Pikeville Appalachian News-Express, and the Paducah Sun are some of the newspapers now requiring a paid subscription to access their news stories online. And the Whitesburg Mountain Eagle requires a paid subscription to access articles online for the first two weeks after publication.
Since the websites of print media (newspapers) report much of the news we later see on other Internet websites, television newscasts, and radio broadcasts, I feel they probably deserve more revenue from their websites than they currently receive.
But I enjoy reading the news for free. I would hate to pay for access to the numerous news websites I access on a typical day. Though I am blessed to enjoy nice nearby public and university libraries, it is convenient to be able to read news at home.
My hopes are that advertising revenue from newspapers' websites will increase, enabling many to continue offering free access. But there is a lot of competition in online advertising from sources other than newspapers.
It may become common to charge a fee per article or a subscription fee to access more than a few articles monthly. My guess is that unless online ad revenues increase substantially, the trend toward requiring some type of payment to read newspaper stories online will likely increase.
Journalism is changing. Many more layoffs could occur among newspaper editors, reporters, and writers. This could hamper news coverage, since newspapers still have more quality journalists than other news media sources in my opinion.
I love being able to read news stories from major websites around the world without paying to do so. I hope I can continue to do this. But quality news reporting costs money.
What Do You Think?
What do you think will happen? Do you expect more websites to charge subscription fees or fees per article to read news stories? Do you think advertising revenue will pay enough to justify keeping the websites free for users? Do you think printed newspapers will virtually go extinct? Do you expect many more quality journalists to be laid off? Do you think other news sources are currently able to replace newspapers adequately?