Would you pay for online news?


For more years than I can remember, I loved reading my morning paper while having those first few terrific cups of coffee and it’s really how I started my day.  I looked forward to it and it was a huge part of how I woke up for most of my adult life.  

When I moved out of Minneapolis, I could only get my paper delivered with my mail.  Very late in the afternoon and it just wasn’t the same.  By the time it came, for one thing, I was awake but for another, nothing it said was “news” anymore.  The Internet was alive and kicking but not for me.  We had a computer back then but it was in the days that all you did was play games on it. Going “online” was a foreign thing to us back then and I had a terrible habit that I was forced to change.  It was really hard but I replaced one with another and subscribed to a LOT of magazines. That’s what I did instead.  I had to read in order to wake up back then I guess.  I’ll bet you I had subscriptions for 10 magazines back then.  

Of course now all the newspapers are like everyone else and need to make cuts.  But they are really hurting now competing with all the news the Internet allows us.  Newspapers are closing down all over the place and cutting hours and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better for then with the Internet.

So the question is, would you pay to read your news online?  We can watch movies and download our music here and a lot of that we have to pay for but would people pay for this service or would they just go elsewhere to get the information they wanted. I thought this was a good quote from the article if you didn’t go read it:

Kathleen Hanson is the Director of the Minnesota Journalism Center and a Professor at the University of Minnesota. She doesn’t think that just because it worked for music, it will work for news.    

“It’s the broccoli and ice cream problem that people will pay for ice cream and you want to try to get them to eat the broccoli along with that,” said Hanson. 


I do know a lot of newspapers that charge to “get into” some things on their sites now and have been that way for several years.  Not all of them are free.  Their general sites are free but if you click to certain articles, you have to be a subscriber.  I do have to say that I go to WCCO constantly during my day.  I don’t really go to the newspapers but Paul does like to read the paper for all his sports. Would he pay a small monthly fee, probably.  

For me, yes, I think I’d pay.  It wouldn’t be more than I was paying for a newspaper everyday of my life for 30 years.  Those reporters and everyone else involved in putting a newspaper together seem to be doing a lot of work for nothing and a lot of them are losing a lot of jobs.  What about the people who pay for the paper and those who read it online for free?  It doesn’t seem fair when you look at it that way.

I also do know though, it’s not the same online and you can’t get a lot of what is really in a paper nor can you spread it all out and smell that newspaper smell.  I do miss that part of getting the paper.  Just “settling” in with an old pal.  I really do have to say, I miss my paper.

Where do you “get” your news?  Would you pay for it online

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20 Responses to Would you pay for online news?

  1. pammy says:

    I like to read my paper and have my coffee.I still prefer the old way.I would pay for the paper,dont no about the internet.But I really dont use the internet to get my news.

  2. mssc54 says:

    No way! The news is the same every single day. The only thing that changes is the date, place and time.

  3. Laura (LS) says:

    I get most of my news from the radio. I’ve come to notice, as I’m sure others have, that newspaper “writers” can no longer write. And the internet is far worse. I see all kinds of abuses of grammar and punctuation rules, and it drives me batty! I know I’m sounding elitist, here, but when I’m reading something written by a “professional”, I expect it to be correct. Otherwise, I find myself going into teacher/editor mode, and going back and correcting, in my mind, all the mistakes. At that point, I have COMPLETELY missed the point of the story, concentrating instead, on the mechanics of it.

    Anyway, back to the point at hand. I think it’s sad that newspapers are failing right and left, but I don’t think it’s entirely the fault of the internet, or the radio, or anything else outside the walls of the building in which it’s printed. The “journalists” themselves are the problem. The point of the newspaper, historically, was to simply report the news, not make judgments. But I defy you to find a major city’s newspaper that is not in the pocket of the left side of the political aisle. (or, to be fair, the right side, as in the Wall Street Journal) Or one that doesn’t get so wrapped up in the salacious and base details of a crime that the accused is tried and convicted on paper before even being read his rights. (Drew Peterson, that cop in Chgo who is accused of killing multiple wives, comes to mind…)

    Finally (and yes, I’m off and running ALREADY this morning)… I think it is absolutely imperative – and fundamental – that the method of obtaining news remain free. It’s bad enough that much of the population already gets their “news” from ‘sources’ like Stephen Colbert and other pseudo-news. We are a frighteningly knowledge-illiterate society, and getting worse every day. It’s why so many people have no problems with all the stupidity that Obama is proposing. (you KNEW it had to get political, didn’t you?)

  4. Doraz says:

    We get the paper delivered. I do not read it, I do not appreciate the bias! I also listen to the radio talk shows and do lots of google searches. I hate one sided news. That’s another story! But, to sum it up, I like it the old fashioned way the best! *)*

  5. nikki says:

    Well newspaper and I don’t get along too well but that’s another story! I could never hold a newspaper. I watch the news on TV occasionally to catch the weather but I find it to be depressing and I can’t handle hearing about another child being kidnapped or murdered. When I get up at 5:30am I sometimes watch Robin Meades Headline News on CNN. I like her. If The Star Tribune wanted me to pay for on line news..no I wouldn’t pay for it.

  6. SKL says:

    If I had to pay in order to find out what is going on in the world, then I would. But I am very cheap and it would be a last resort. I have to say that I could never rely on either the TV or the local paper (liberal around here) to get all of my news, because of spin. The places where I get my “basic news” are relatively less biased and I continuously scan the latest story headlines, before they get a chance to put too much spin on the facts. I also like going to at least 3 news sites a day, because different people report things differently / selectively based on their biases.

  7. nikki says:

    If the ONLY way to get any news was to pay for it on line…yes I would. I pay for the satellite so what would be the difference. IF it was the only resort. I should have been more clear.

  8. Just a Mom says:

    I read our local newspaper online daily. I pay for the old fashioned real paper on Sundays so I can read the comics in color, I mean get the store coupons! 🙂
    If I had to pay for my local paper online I probably would.

  9. Gary says:

    I “get” my news from the evening news on T.V. but I like to read the paper as well. Luckily, both newspapers we have here have totally free web sites so I don’t get the paper delivered anymore. If they started to charge a fee for reading online, I don’t think I would pay the fee. I don’t visit the sites enough to warrant the expense even if it was a small fee.

  10. starlaschat says:

    It’s a good question. I think that news paper’s will have to make some changes to carry on. I like the feel of holding the paper, but paying on line, I don’t know if I would do that. I have worked for a few newspapers in my life. I know a lot of their revenue is advertising. So I think maybe the focus should be revenue from ads. And offering free updated internet news. Expanding their ads to web video. Kid’s growing up I think will turn to online news.

  11. joanharvest says:

    No!! I am sure I can figure out some way to get the crappy news without paying for it. I don’t even get the newspaper anymore. The local paper where I live now is free though it just covers island news.

  12. Amy Hunter says:

    If the local paper started charging for an online subscription, I’d pay, because I think it’s important to have local reporting. Depending on what they charged, of course. Part of the problem with pricing, I think, is that with the print version, you can decide to get Sunday only to save some money if you know you won’t read every day. I suppose they could program Sunday only access to the site, but that would be kind of weird, because then you’d *have* to read on a Sunday.

    I wouldn’t pay to read other cities’ newspapers, however. The New York Times charged for access to its editorials for a while and eventually abandoned that approach.

  13. natalie says:

    i used to have a paper delivered but i don’t have the time to read it. now i just zip online and read a few papers/sites (nytimes, my local, bbc, cnn, msnbc, and newschannel4.com–nyc’s nbc news).

    honestly, i don’t love getting ink on my hands. but i’m OCD like that.

  14. I’ve actually had just this discussion over my boyfriend’s Friday night dinner table with his family. His father is a columnist, and he believes beyond a doubt that eventually, for both economic reasons and for supposed environmental reasons, newspapers will be eliminated and news will only be online.
    This brings up the question of will it be free or not? My opinion on the matter is that if enough of the good writers and reporters make pacts with their newspaper companies about this, all GOOD online news will require a subscription fee. Sure, you’ll be able to access hundreds of free websites, but people who want to read their favorite columnist or be sure that they’re reading absolute facts and truths will definitely pay for the accurate news I think.

  15. Tessa says:

    I like old fashioned newsPAPER! My eyes feel better and it is more relaxing than staring at a computer. I like to be able to sit on the patio and read or in the kitchen….

  16. Tessa says:

    mssc is right on. It’s all the same usually. I like local newspapers to see what is going on in town or to read the funnies or headline stories or watch the news once or twice a week so I am up to date, but everyday just installs to much fear and paranoia and negativity in me and my family.

  17. Joy says:

    Living where we do, we really need to keep our eyes on the weather. I tune into the news each day to keep up on that mostly. I do have to admit I love the way newspapers feel and smell.

  18. nikki says:

    If the newspaper came in the form of a magazine with the shiny paper I’d be all over it!!! I’m not a fan of the way paper feels.

  19. Amy Hunter says:

    In all seriousness, one of the things that worries me if print newspapers go away is what I’ll use to line the bottom of my bird cage. 🙂

    This is not a comment on newspapers, but rather on how I designed the cage I built. Newspapers fit perfectly, and I don’t know what else I would use that would work so nicely and cost so little.

  20. Joy says:

    LOL Amy. I never thought of things like that. What would we clean fish on? Newspapers work so well since the fish don’t slide around on them.

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