Mike Masnick at TechDirt continues to peddle the belief that “online news has no choice but to be free.” I have railed against that sort of view many times in the past, so I won’t belabor the point other than to indicate that you can charge for some news.
What Mr. Masnick seems to be referring to today is newspaper content in particular. There are, however, numerous online news sources that successfully charge for their information. The distinction is that the information they have is unique and indispensable (see my commentary on that very topic today for more on that).
Keep in mind that if nobody is willing to pay for content (either directly through subscriptions or indirectly through things like being responsive to advertisers and sponsors), then the content itself has no value and shouldn’t be produced.