Saul Friedman, a long-standing Newsday columnist, has quit the paper over its decision to implement a paywall, pointing out that by charging $5/week for readers, they'll drastically cut his audience size (and, presumably, the present and future opportunities that having a large audience afford to a working writer). I doubt he'll be the last. Last month at the O'Reilly Tools of Change conference at the Frankfurt Book Fair, someone asked a representative from The Guardian newspaper (for whom I write a column) if they would consider charging for access to the site, and I pointed out that I would no longer offer The Guardian such a hefty discount off my normal word-rate if this were the case. It's worth it to me to write for lower fees in exchange for the broader reach, but if you eliminate that reach, the benefit to me as a writer starts to dry up.
I wonder if newspaper strategists grasp that they get a lot of work on the cheap in exchange for the reach they provide to their writers, and that intentionally limiting that reach will raise their costs. I also wonder at newspaper strategists who, having decided that they can't monetize fame, have opted to monetize obscurity instead, seemingly in the belief that this will somehow be easier.
That did not sit well with Mr. Friedman, a freelancer who wrote Gray Matters, a weekly column on aging. He explained his departure in a note to Jim Romenesko's media blog. In an interview, Mr. Friedman said, "My column has been popular around the country, but now it was really going to be impossible for people outside Long Island to read it." That includes him; living outside Washington, he is not a subscriber to Newsday or Cablevision.
Columnist Quits After Newsday Starts Charging for Its Web Site
Mr. Friedman, who is 80, said he would continue to write about older people for the site timegoesby.net, but he called his decision an end to more than 50 years in newspapers. He wrote for Newsday for more than 20 years, including several years as a staff writer in its Washington bureau.
“Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free” is my 2014 nonfiction book about copyright, the internet, and earning a living, and it features two smashing introductions — one by Neil Gaiman and the other by Amanda Palmer.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an amazing, long-running open standards body that has been largely responsible for the web’s growth and vibrancy, creating open standards that lets anyone make web technology and become part of the internet ecosystem.
Here’s the 32 minute video of my presentation at last month’s O’Reilly Security Conference in New York, “Security and feudalism: Own or be pwned.”
The Pocket Tripod PRO had massive Kickstarter success in 2013, raising almost $85,000 in a single month. But this isn’t just another case of pre-release product hype. This ingenious little device folds out from a credit-card-shaped plastic slab into a sturdy stand with a surprisingly wide range of motion. In portrait orientation, your phone slides […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]