Another American commentator on the press has suggested the only way to save newspapers is to get them to charge for online content.
Steve Brill claims: "The Internet should be a publisher's dream, not nightmare." He has put forward a blueprint to save The New York Times which he claims could save quality journalism in general.
Brill says: "Across the country and the world, journalism – the way that democracies and free markets get the information they need through honest surrogates – is quickly dying, because the business model to pay for it is evaporating.
"There is, in fact, a way to save it by using common sense and the basic laws of business, and by redirecting the same electronic commerce dynamics that now threaten it. Indeed, now that the Times has done so much so well to build its online offerings it's time to turn the dynamics around – by getting paid for that content, while using the Internet to eliminate the huge costs of producing and delivering it. "
Brill suggests:"The New York Times newspaper website currently has 20 million unique visitors a month. It is a great editorial product and has done an amazing job building an audience. Now, it’s time to go to Step Two and make that work to usher in a bright new age for the world's greatest newspaper.
"Getting an average of just $1.00 a month from each visitor would yield $240m in new annual revenue."
He then gives a very detailed break-down of a paid-content model.
Story via Newspaper Project and PoynterOnline .