Michael Kinsley, the founding editor of Slate who was also editorial page editor at the Los Angeles Times, recalls with some nostalgia and quite a dose of reality the notion that one could charge for online content. Been there, tried that, failed.
His op-ed for the New York Times today suggests that competition is responsible for great access and great fragmentation of audiences and advertising. Once the recession ends, advertising will come back partly and audiences will disperse considerably.
He sees a future of only a few newspapers online, the possible arrival of a new newspaper from a Web operation, and viable funds for journalism on the basis of fewer but much more viral information sources.