The issue of charging for online news has been forced by the plight of newspaper publishers unable to support web operations with falling print revenues and unable to make web operations pay their way.
If they must charge, even if their content is not particularly unique or niche, then here’s a few suggestions:
The quest is doomed if news websites don’t offer value to the reader, using the abilities and scope of the Web itself.
Rehashed, linkless newspaper content isn’t enough; relying on audience to come to your website to come and get the content isn’t enough (you do deliver your newspaper after all) – Twitter, RSS, Facebook.
Use the tools, many freely available to enhance content and interactive opportunities. Send your headlines out via all the social media tools you can efficiently use.
And make your websites flexible and as future proof as possible in order to stay in the game.
As resource and manpower retreats in newsrooms, journalists need to cover their patch by digital means to cover the important news and remain relevant in touch with their audience. They must embrace social media, learn the ways of the web.
Journalists can’t be expected to be pros at all social and new media skills, but they must try and get to know those that are popular with their audience.