In his AdAge column on media, Nat Ives dismisses the notion that newspapers can gain payment for their content online in the way, say, HBO gets treated on cable.
Ives identifies the critical challenges, in particular the reclaiming of fees for things that have been free and are very commodified in the digital sphere. He notes that cable in the U.S. determined it would be distinctive and an improvement on the conventional product. Where he's especially tart is in suggesting the quality of the for-a-fee information isn't what HBO carves out in the television business.
In other words, he thinks it isn't worth it. Newspapers, he says, are "still looking for the hit they can charge for."