Questions regarding Inquirer and Daily News plans to charge readers of their websites

I was contacted by someone who teaches journalism for my thoughts on Daily News and Inquirer plans to charge readers – how they might affect local bloggers who often link, comment, or refer to the news from those online publications. He asked three difficult questions.

  • Q: Do you plan to pay for your local Philadelphia online news?
    A: It counts upon how much it costs and what if offers. I hope they pursue a NPR-like membership model instead of putting up a paywall. In the end, it counts upon the value offered.
  • Q: Will you link to articles that your readers will have to pay to read?
    A: Not if behind a paywall. I will find free alternatives to link to (KYW1060, TV station websites,
    national news sources, and especially local independent sources).
  • Q: Any general reactions to how you think this will affect what you do and what other local bloggers do?
    A: Local blogging will not be effected all that much believe it or not. There are many free alternatives. What is of concern is that we are becoming less and less informed as a people. At a time when we need *more* exposure to the work of the the Inquirer and Daily News, there will be less. That’s tragic.

I have to add that my hopes are that the papers remain local and that the bankruptcy proceedings are favorable to the local ownership. While I may disagree on paywalls, I feel that the news organizations within the papers stand the best chance at survival that way.