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Should We Have to Pay for News on the 'Net?

Everyone has opinions. Patch is the place to share them.

As of Wednesday, Feb. 1, Gannett, one of the country's largest media companies, which owns USA Today and the newspapers, will move to a pay wall on some of its news sites.

The move will require readers to buy a subscription to read the sites, as they would to have the print version delivered to their homes. A small portion of articles will be available on each site without having to pay.

So, Long Valley Patch wants to know what you think. Should readers be required to pay for online news? Should there be a subscription fee like that of a home delivery for a print product?

Be sure to vote in our poll below and leave your thoughts in the comments section.

As always, thanks for participating.

La Quin January 30, 2012 at 02:18 PM
for the record your internet provider does not pay that reporter! if you subscribe to the printed paper then internet should be free but if not you should have to pay. someone needs to pay the reporters.
George Marinich January 30, 2012 at 02:22 PM
These are poorly worded choices imo. Paying for internet service has nothing to do with the content provided by a news organization or other web-based source, since they are usually independent of each other. The reason content can be "free" on the web is because it is paid for by all the ads we are bombarded by, and there is very little cost to deliver the content as compared to print media.
Steve Marinaccio January 30, 2012 at 03:44 PM
The fact is that this is intellectual property and the writers need to get paid. It is a shame that most seem to believe that writers should just give their content away and this includes music. That fact is that many songwriters, poets and artists are losing money daily due to this "give it away" practice by others. Recently everyone wants you to sign this ridiculous petition to not be able to shut down websites that promote giving away other peoples property. It is time that people understand the detriment that this is causing the creators. It is also time that there is ramification for these practices. -- Steve Marinaccio Green Chapel Studios
Louis C. Hochman February 02, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Hey David -- While we're proud of the work our full-timers do, you're right — any successful Web community needs contributions from not just its full-time staff, but the other people who find it useful. We're really working over time to make Patch more than just a news site – more like a community hub where news is one of the draws, but certainly not the only one. The blog platform (which you use, of course) is a perfect example of that. We want to make it attractive to people to use Patch (as opposed to something like Tumblr or Wordpress) as a platform for sharing their own news and views. If community group have updates, if individuals have opinions, if enthusiasts on subjects have perspectives to share, we want to make sure we're the best way of connecting those people with their neighbors. We're not looking for people to do traditional reporting for free — we'd rather create a win-win by helping the bloggers reach deeper into the community (and of course getting the advantage for ourselves of having a more vibrant and diverse site). The blogs, events, announcements and comments threads are a good start, and we encourage people to use them to the fullest. But we're working on bigger and better, too.
Tracy Tobin February 05, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Dave I'm not sure what the right business model is for the media. All I know is that the Daily Record resembles the "give away" papers that land in my driveway, having closed all their local press offices. The OT is soldiering on with limited staff doing the best job on "in depth" local coverage on a weekly basis. The Star Ledger has very little interest in Western NJ. Patch is the only alternative that is giving local coverage and is trying hard, with relatively limited staff, and is gaining local contributors. They need people in the community to alert them to State, County and Local issues that impact the residents while also serving to make residents aware of local businesses, programs, services and events. At some point their parent company will have to work out a profitable business formula or cut their losses. CNN isn't going to do the job at the State or Local level.
RGJ February 05, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Speed kills in the media now, and speed is expensive. AOL went all in on the Patch, and from some reports went into the hole for 9 figures in 2011. Not sure what the revenue model is that backs the Patch business model. They will be able to sell micro-local ads -- restaurants -- and political ads, but banner ads struggle for the big bucks. Is AOL hoping the bloggers etc provide the free content they need while phasing out the employees now needed to jumpstart it? Maybe the official news content will slide back to more county and state? It will be hard to maintain journalistic integrity/accuracy under that structure. But it will be harder to staff reporters -- and they have good ones -- to keep the up-to-the minute pace here (that has been very impressive). Traditionally, you had the daily newspapers, and the weekly or monthly analysis magazines (Time, Forbes, NewsWeek, BusinessWeek, etc.). In today's ADD Internet culture the value of delayed analysis for a fee is dwindling to zero, and will be gone as the generational change goes on. I think the key to the new media is becoming niche experts. . An interesting new player is NJSpotlight which has breaking legislative news out of Trenton, launched by two Star Ledger reporters. But they are struggling financially. So, in closing, the challenge is to convert eyeballs to income in a swirling, evolving webworld. If you want to wind up with a million dollars, start with two.

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