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.
Steven Boyett writes, “Humble Bundle has released a unicorn-themed Bundle, with proceeds to benefit the World Wide Fund for Nature and Fauna & Flora International. For as little as $1.00, you can get Ariel, by Steven R. Boyett (full disclosure: that’s me); Unicorn Mountain, by Michael Bishop; Homeward Bound, by Bruce Coville; and Unicorn Triangle, […]
Brewster Kahle, who invented the first two search engines and went on to found and run the Internet Archive has published an open letter describing the problems that the W3C’s move to standardize DRM for the web without protecting otherwise legal acts, like archiving, will hurt the open web.
Timothy from Creative Commons writes, “The purpose of copyright is to empower — not frustrate! — creativity and knowledge production. Nowhere is a balanced copyright more important than in education. But 15-year-old EU copyright laws don’t take into account modern digital and online teaching methods, tools, and resources.”
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]
Yeah, Bluetooth audio is pretty common these days, so why should you care about these earbuds? Look how happy that woman up above looks. She’s got FRESHeBUDS in. Boom. There’s your reason. She’s also at the beach and it appears to be a very nice day.But for the sake of promotion, wireless earbuds are fast becoming the […]
“Gets stuff done,” is a good way to be described by anybody. Especially by coworkers or bosses. Because whether you’re in finance or a children’s librarian, stuff needs to get done. But how do you make sure stuff gets done? You definitely can’t do all the stuff yourself, unless your company/organization/government office consists entirely of you. And […]