So who will get the story?
I spoke the other day with Fred Schiff, an associate professor of communication at the University of Houston. He’s a former print and wire-service reporter who now edits a Web site called World Internet News (www.worldinternetnews.net). He also wrote a paper last year on business models for online news sites.
Schiff accepts that newspaper content has value. But he doesn’t accept that newspapers must necessarily charge for it online.
Rather, Schiff envisions a commercializing of newspaper Web sites whereby free news is used as a loss leader to get people to visit. Once there, readers would be enticed into paying for a variety of unrelated services, such as hotel and travel bookings, or Amazon-like retail sales.