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Home arrow Communication arrow The news media: what everyone needs to know
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You said that hundreds of newspapers and magazines have instituted metered models for access to news content. Is that pretty much all of journalism, then?

No, it is far from being all of journalism. Many online-only publications, new journalistic startups, and many print-digital hybrids still offer all their content online for free, and will continue to do so for many years to come. Almost no broadcast news found online operates from behind a paywall, at least not yet.

Why?

There are a few possibilities here. Once upon a time, it might have been likely that some of these companies had a cultural aversion to charging their consumers money for news. The famous (if misquoted) phrase "information wants to be free" was often used to justify not charging readers money to access journalism on the Internet by claiming it would be impossible, or morally wrong, or both. Now, though, it seems like this rationale has largely disappeared. It no longer seems crazy to people that they pay for journalism on the Internet. But if this is true, and if the "culture of free content" really has faded away, then why isn't every news company charging for news? Why are some sites (including some of the most popular, like Buzzfeed, Vox, Upworthy, and Gawker) trying to pay for their journalism without asking their readers to pay as well? In part, the answers to this are economic: despite the growth in "direct payment models" for news, some outlets have continued to try to find other ways to subsidize the journalism they produce.

 
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