Charging for news is idiotic

Hey, you, guys who think you should charge for access to your newspaper: you’re insane. And all this reporting about how everything is going to be fee-based from now on is driving me crazy. Why does it seem everyone so easily forgets that “news” is mostly a commodity?

Here is what you are saying to your customers:

“Hey consumer, want to find out if Michael Jackson is dead? You have to pay.”

“Hey folks, want to find out who won that election last night? You have to pay.”

Who are these crazy people that seem to think we are all going to pay a bunch of sites something like $5/mo so that we can get a few pages of occasional “news”?

Hopefully, there will be an economic model for actual investigative reporting and value-added content. But it’s not the “news”. It’s something else entirely.

Michael Wolff says it well: “News has always been free.”

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