Wire Creator Simon: NYT, Post Must Charge for Web
By Harry Kimball, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2009 2:44 PM CDT
A man pauses as he looks at the front page of The New York Times.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – How to save newspapers and, in fact, journalism itself? Wire creator (and former newspaperman) David Simon implores the publishers of the New York Times and the Washington Post to start charging for their websites. “Content matters," he writes in the Columbia Journalism Review. "And you must find a way, in the brave new world of digitization, to make people pay for that content. If you do this, you still have a product and there is still an industry, a calling, and a career known as professional journalism.”

Local and regional papers can’t make the move on their own, Simon writes. In fact, the Times and the Post must act in tandem for this to work. “Would that every US newspaper publisher could meet in a bathroom somewhere and talk bluntly for fifteen minutes, this would be a hell of a lot easier.” Though antitrust legislation prohibits that, there’s a convenient out: “We read some rant in the Columbia Journalism Review that made the paywall argument. Blame the messenger.”

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Jul 26, 2009 1:23 AM CDT
Start charging? Didn't they try that once and their hits fell big time? Then they found out, not charging meant higher ad revenues which was much more lucrative than online subscriptions.
Jul 25, 2009 10:08 AM CDT
The REAL question remains...what will bird cages be lined with if newspapers go under and away? They were so incredibly good for that! Yes, the forests of America will be happier but, the caged little birdies won't be.
Jul 25, 2009 10:05 AM CDT
Try half that time, DZ. "Professional journalism" is, rather, was about reporting the facts objectively, dispassionately and taking wrong-doers (regardless of party affiliation) to task...that animal is extinct...sensationalism, celebrity and bashing sells.