On Tuesday, Claire and I went on a Wildfire field trip. With the wide-eyed wonder of the little PRs that we are, we spent the morning exploring the halls of a national newspaper. We took in the sites and sounds of the busy newsroom, and, overwhelmed with curiosity, we bombarded our journalist host with all the questions we had always wanted to ask about the inside workings of a national paper.
We talked about the best way to secure coverage in the national papers, ways PR can make it easier for journalists and the process an article goes through between the editor and journalist. One of the biggest reoccurring themes we discussed was the changes and effects the internet has had and will have on newspapers, specifically paid content.
In a recent blog, Danny wrote about the Harris Interactive survey for Paid:Content UK that found that “if their favourite news site begins charging for access to content, three quarters of people would simply switch to an alternative free news source”. And a new survey from Lightspeed Research and The Global Web Index found similar results, that nine in 10 UK consumers would never pay for news stories online, regardless of how cheap it was.
So, things are not looking good for the online newspaper sites that are considering charging for content. But what about the Sunday paper’s content?
Our journalist host’s opinion was that news is broken in the dailies and this is the type of news people could find free elsewhere online, from sites like the BBC, if a newspaper website started charging. But the Sundays offer something beyond just news, they have news analysis, opinion articles, in-depth reviews, thorough travel stories and the longer investigative articles. This is the type of content that people could not find anywhere else and if any content has a chance as pay-per-view online, it would be the Sundays.
What do you think? Would you pay online to view the unique content that the Sunday papers offer or is even that not enough to get you to open your wallet?