Pay wall or free-for-all? Guardian editor weighs in

The New York Times announced this week that they will start charging frequent users for their paper online. Good, I thought, who better to take the lead on this “monetizing” thing.

Then a friend sent along a lecture by the editor of the Guardian newspaper who, to my surprise, thinks erecting a “pay wall” is wrong. Now I’m reconsidering.

Alan Rusbridger

After all, we can now benefit from multiple platforms and ways of telling a story.

In the words of Alan Rusbridger:

“As an editor, I worry about how a universal pay wall would change the way we do our journalism. We have taken 10 or more years to learn how to tell stories in different media – i.e. not simply text and still pictures …

This, journalistically, is immensely challenging and rich. Journalists have never before been able to tell stories so effectively, bouncing off each other, linking to each other (as the most generous and open-minded do), linking out, citing sources, allowing response – harnessing the best qualities of text, print, data, sound and visual media. If ever there was a route to building audience, trust and relevance, it is by embracing all the capabilities of this new world, not walling yourself away from them.”

Isn’t this better journalism? I have officially changed my mind.

What do you think?

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