90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Industry Leaders Debate Digital Paywall

The New York Times’ paywall went live today, making free news, all the time, any time, a thing of the past at the country’s iconic newspaper of record.  We here at On Point are paying close attention, as are newspaper publishers and news consumers who have gotten used to free.

Are paywalls the way forward for beleaguered newspapers or does this smell of a desperate attempt to recreate the past in our digital future?

Ken Doctor, news industry analyst, Newseconomics.com, called the New York Times paywall a “do-over.”  He told Tom, when everybody moved to the web, “we all thought for some reason it should be free,” and now the Times is trying to “race against the clock to find another substantial pipeline of revenue.”

Doctor cautions that this metered pay wall is not a “panacea” but “it’s a building block” for the Times and others.

John Paton, CEO of the digitally successful Journal Register Company and this hour’s guest, disagrees.  Paton says paywalls are a “dangerous waste of time,” because “marrying a new idea to an old model” is an “idea that never fails to fail.”

While some publishers complain that online advertising is trading print dollars for digital dimes, Payton advises that they “start stacking those dimes.”

New York Times pay wall in action

Paton and Doctor do agree that online content must be worth paying for.  Payton notes that “currently we do everything to make print and shovel it onto the web and say we are multi-platform.” That won’t be enough in a ‘content is king’ news culture.

One thing we know is that we don’t have to pay.  Doctor calls the paid-content system a “fence” not a wall.  He says that it is “meant to be porous,” in fact the Times’ fence is a “one percent solution” because it targets the heavy nytimes.com users only.

In fact, it took our guest, Canadian web developed, David Hayes twenty minutes and four lines of code to get through the Times’ paywall.  With his NYT Clean on your web browser, you simply won’t hit the paywall.  Hayes explains, “anytime you put up a fence there is going to be someone, in this case me, who wants to get around it”

You won’t hit any paywalls at On Point radio.  Listen to the entire hour here.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 27, 2015
Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

The co-pilot and the plane in the Alps? Ted Cruz announces 2016 bid. Heinz buys Kraft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Mar 27, 2015
Members of  a November Project 'tribe' pause during a November 2014 workout. (Brogan Graham / Instagram)

Spring training. From easy-access yoga to outdoor exercise meet-ups, exercise plans you’ll want to do.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 27, 2015
Members of  a November Project 'tribe' pause during a November 2014 workout. (Brogan Graham / Instagram)

Spring training. From easy-access yoga to outdoor exercise meet-ups, exercise plans you’ll want to do.

 
Mar 27, 2015
Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

The co-pilot and the plane in the Alps? Ted Cruz announces 2016 bid. Heinz buys Kraft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: March 27, 2015
Friday, Mar 27, 2015

More on the incessant email debate, plus some goats living their best lives and the sad allure of Manhattan’s shuttered Pommes Frites.

More »
Comment
 
Mobile Payments Offer Convenience If You Keep Your Email Safe
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Thinking about moving your wallet to your phone? You can! And maybe you should? But TechCrunch senior writer Josh Constine has a few things to tell you before you do.

More »
1 Comment
 
Using Technology To Get Your Kids Outside
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The latest and greatest — using apps to make natural exploration more fun for your kids.

More »
Comment