We pay for paper and news, but not online news — a little math
Leonard Witt at Kennesaw State University does a little math and asks the question (paraphrased): “Why are people willing to pay $500 a year for news on paper, but nothing for it online?” He writes:
So let’s say the more than 300,000 subscribers of the now bankrupt Chicago Tribune got mad as hell at Sam Zell and decided they would start their own cooperative news organization. For $3 a week each they could own the journalism equivalent of the Green Bay Packers. Citizen owned journalism support by $45 million annually with each person just investing $3 a week. Do the math $3 a week or a $150 a year times 300,000 potential citizen owners equals $45 million.
Is it only because no one has asked the public to do so that this seems improbable? What would happen if unique news were no longer given away for free on the web? Would folks miss it enough to be part of a subscriber network to get it?
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