The discussion over whether to put up paywalls for newspapers’ online content has been rumbling on for a while now – ever since Rupe decided that his titles would be having one, despite the warnings coming from those who have the newer side of the media figured out.
As I pointed out a while back, the Beeb won’t be charging. And neither will the Guardian – a point that was underlined on Monday when editor Alan Rusbridger gave the 2010 Hugh Cudlipp Lecture.
Rusbridger has pointed out that the competition for free news actually includes part of the Murdoch empire, Sky News (first for breaking wind), which as far as is known will still be free, even after the Murdoch papers raise the paywall. Moreover, he revealed that digital growth at the Guardian is running at a tasty 40%.
And, a most revealing fact, a third of those 37 million unique users last year came from North America. You want half decent journalism – you know where to come.