Freedom of speech, or speech for free?

Posted: November 12, 2009 in mcom257/258, Uncategorized

By Adam Salk
TU journalism student | Nov. 11, 2009

In these changing economic times, where newspaper corporations are tanking, do we deserve free speech, or should we be granted others speech for free?

It is apparent that over the past few months’ major newspaper companies such as the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times have been on the decline. As the traditional paper begins to slip and slide down, these companies have yet to establish a fee for their online news.

“Giving away information for free on the Internet while still charging 50 cents to $1 for the print version of the paper was one of the most fundamentally flawed business decisions of the past 25 years,” says Prof. Paul J. MacArthur.

Meanwhile, technological advances have put the internet in the pockets of millions of people, giving them access to the news 24 hours a day, all for free.

I like Gerry Storch’s take on the future of printed news. It is apparent that this technological age requires the news to keep up, and make the move to the internet. The newspapers must start making people pay for the information that they are delivering.

The only way this can be done successfully is by providing what others cannot, which is outlined is step two. Finding a niche will draw a more focused group of people.

What about payment? People don’t want to pay for what they don’t use. Separate fees for individual articles read at low costs will be most beneficial for both parties. Charging a flat rate for basic text articles and then more for articles with added media (such as video content) is the way to go.

While we are all granted the freedom of speech and press, its important that the journalists who go out to get the story receive the monetary payment they deserve.


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