Can Papers End the Free Ride Online? I had an experience with something like this a few weeks ago visiting my parents. Someone suggested that the Canadian papers were smart to charge for access, as they mostly do now. We discussed this for a little bit, but didn’t take the discussion very far.
The next day we were looking for info on something in the news. “To Google,” I said, “we’ll find the answer there for sure.” And we typed in a couple words and got our answer. Of course there were no results from barricaded news sites – and the value of open archives was made clear.
Newspapers have been losing readership for years, and no one has ever proven a correlation between declining readership and open archives. If I were a shareholder in a media company, I would demand that the company demonstrate the correlation and if it were not proven, ask that the company fulfill its public service mandate to contribute to the civic life of the city, province, and country.