John Morton, a former newspaper reporter now working as a consultant, thinks he has the answer to what ails the newspaper --- namely, it's time to charge for what papers give away online.
Morton's plan calls for papers to decide on Independence Day, July 4, to individually (thus avoiding antitrust prosecution) to charge online what they charge for a print subscription (he says you should get a deal by buying both). And, if that's not challenging enough, he believes newspapers should charge advertisers the same cost-per-thousand reader rate online as they do in print.
Steve Outing has quickly called his idea the death of the newspaper. Others have been rather unkind, as well, in asserting that his principles just don't have a chance.
It is difficult to understand how Morton believes advertisers will pay the print rate online when they can get many other online advertising deals, and it is difficult to understand how Morton feels users will pay the print rate online when they can get many other editorial deals.
What do you think?