Monday, 25 January 2010
Stephen Glover: 'Putting up paywalls should be a commercial and not an ideological decision'
Stephen Glover in his media column in the Independent today wonders how the Guardian will react to the announcement by the New York Times that it will charge frequent online users from next year.
He suggests: "Possibly The Guardian will see an opportunity. It bills itself on the net as "the world's leading liberal voice" and may think it can profit from the decision to charge by a rival that is, in fact, the world's leading liberal voice."
But he adds: "It is one thing to criticise a plutocrat and arch-capitalist such as Rupert Murdoch for charging on the web, a different one to attack a fellow liberal newspaper, especially if it succeeds. The New York Times intends to charge online readers for the simple reason that it is losing lots of money. So too is The Guardian. Could it really afford to stand on its principles if The New York Times made a go of its paywall? Whether or not to charge on the net should be a commercial consideration, not an ideological one."