Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Free Internet news on the way out?

If you're like me and have been cruising the Internet for many years, you've probably got into the habit of grabbing and then reading articles published by large media outlets for free. That seems to be something that won't be happening, in the days to come, as sites like the New Yorker and Washington Post have now set up paywalls that allow you to read just a couple of articles before they start demanding that you pay cash....

I'll assume that many people out there in 'cyberland' won't bat an eyelash and will pony up the dough. Me? I have zero intention of following this trend. If left alone pretty soon everything will cost, perhaps even your email, if trends like this are allowed to continue. And, yes, I do understand that some news needs to be funded, only I'm disappointed that more creative ways have not been put out there to try. For instance, Amazon's Kindle department offers a 'free sample' of a specific book that allows you the opportunity to see if a particular book is worth purchasing. Perhaps something like that could be arranged for large news outlets who do have bills to pay. Another option might be to offer potential viewers the ability to sign up and then pay a monthly fee based on the number of articles they actually read. That way if you never visit a site again... no money gets exchanged.

Now, I realize that very few individuals would want their credit cards spread around in such a fashion, so maybe a kind of readership clearing house could be created that would give us all one place to put in our sensitive credit information, from which all the media sites that do charge could draw from. A benefit of such a set up would be itemized listings that one could view to see all the stuff they've read about over a period of time. That was just a thought...

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