At what point will news exec’s get a clue?

I like newspapers, really I do. I like stopping at the newsstand and having a look at the headlines and then carrying on my merry way.

Now if I’m not the type of person who is willing to fork over 2 bucks for a dead tree version of the news what idiot news publisher thinks I, and thousands like me, are going to fork over anything to read the same thing online.

Apparently Lionel Barber, a brain trust editor at the Financial Times, does because he has predicted that within 12 months “almost all news organizations will be charging for online content”. Now whether it will be a per article micropayment or a monthly subscription is still up in the air but be forewarned folks you’re going to have to pay to get your news online.

Barber said last night that the Financial Times had pioneered the concept of a “frequency model”, giving access to a limited number of articles on the web before asking users to subscribe.

“We are seeing sustained and growing revenue as a result of our strategy of premium pricing for quality, niche global content – crucial at a time of weakening advertising,” he added.

“Many news organisations are following suit in charging, latterly the New York Times which had previously come down in favour of free access to its own content.”

Source: Guardian – Financial Times editor says most news websites will charge within a year

Of course he couldn’t let the interview go by without making the obligatory slam against bloggers as being anything remotely similar to real journalists even though he did admit that us lowly bloggers have broken a story or two. In general though Barber says

“do not operate according to the same standards as those who aspire to and practise crafted journalism. They are often happy to report rumour as fact, arguing that readers or fellow networkers can step in to correct those “facts” if they turn out to be wrong. They are rarely engaged in the pursuit of original news: their bread and butter is opinion and comment.”

This from an industry that invented tabloid news and semi-naked women on inside pages so they could sell more papers. Sure .. okay …