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Google Pay-for-News Scheme Ignores Reality

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2009 1:17 PM CDT

(Newser) – Google CEO Eric Schmidt's proposed model for online newspapers calls for a cable TV-like approach to subscription content, with tiers like free, basic, and premium. His ideas not only come too late, but they're “deeply flawed,” Douglas A. McIntyre writes for 24/7 Wall Street. And "even if they were valuable, they come too late in the cycle of destruction that marks the end of the financial viability of newspapers."

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But even if a system were up and running—a difficult process both technologically and editorially—McIntyre sees another obstacle: Most content "is available somewhere else,” free. Sure, the New York Times is a good paper, but everything in it is done as well or better elsewhere. “Americans are used to free news now," McIntyre concludes." Reversing that will be nearly impossible.” (Read more newspaper industry stories.)

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