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
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment