Monday 9 February 2009

Newspapers urged 'switch off online for a week and show readers what they will miss'

US blogger and freelance journalist T. J. Sullivan is urging newspapers to pull the plug on free online content for a week, Editor & Publisher reports today.
It follows a call made last month by a Canadian journalists Cale Cowan for a similar boycott when he urged all newspapers worldwide to shut their online operations for a day to show that 90 per cent of news on the web was generated by newspapers.
Sullivan has launched an online drive to urge all U.S. daily newspapers to switch off their Web sites from midnight of Independence Day, July 4, until Friday, July 10.
He argues in a post on LA Observed: "It makes it impossible for anyone to deny where the majority of news content comes from, and why it matters. For without virtual newspapers, what would Drudge report? What would Huffington post? What would Google News and Yahoo News and all those cut-and-paste blogs that get so much of their material from newspapers have to offer if newspapers went away?"
Sullivan adds:"It's not that Americans don't care," he writes. "It's simply a matter of human nature. Until the discomfort reaches the readers -- at which point it will be too late -- there's no motivation for them to get involved in finding a solution."

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