Anorak News | The internet’s big publishers move towards the paywall: Sun and Telegraph follow the Times

The internet’s big publishers move towards the paywall: Sun and Telegraph follow the Times

by | 27th, March 2013

AFTER a flurry of free news, the Telegraph and Sun are going behind a paywall:

News International’s chief executive Mike Darcey said the free website was threatening the circulation and revenues of the tabloid, and will go behind a paywall in the second half of 2013 in a radical rethink about offering readers content free of charge. “This decision comes from a deep-seated belief that it is just untenable to have 2.4 million paying 40p for the Sun at the same time as a bunch of other people are getting it for free.”

When we at Anorak left steady jobs (some well paid) at various media organs to work on the web, the papers pretty much only existed in the dead tree form. Each morning, we reviewed them. Reuters sold our work to the world. Our strap was “reading the paper so you don’t have to”. It’s odd to think that this could be the future. But the return to paid-for journalism is a sign that the written word is regaining its value. Good journalism matters. The Google model of taking your content for free in exchange for eyeballs is ending.

A few years ago, we thought about putting part of the site behind a paywall. Then the Huff Post and Google shafted us. The HuffPo SEO-ed the web – our generalism had to be niche, we were told. But we like being generalists. That is our niche. And Google knocked us from Google news. One of our writers had his words placed behind a ‘Content Warning’. Good enough for Private Eye and more, he was not right for Google. He wears the black mark as a badge of honour.

Now, all that remains is for the old news media to pay its interns. You get nothing for nothing (unless you’re Google).


Posted: 27th, March 2013 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink