According to press release from Newsday, Newsday is pioneering a new web model which involves charging money for Newsday.
According to me, Newsday is pioneering its way into new realms of dumb.
Here I thought the black background with white font was a bad idea.
I grew up on Long Island and my family subscribed to Newsday. Whenever I put aside dreams of being the President or an NFL linebacker to focus on the more realistic goal of becoming a professional sportswriter, I imagined writing for Newsday.
Now, starting in six days, I will no longer read Newsday, since I am unwilling to pay $20 a month to read Newsday.
The shame is that Ken Davidoff, the best baseball columnist in the New York papers and obvious respecter of me, writes for Newsday. So does Neil Best, the best of the sports media critics in the market and David Lennon, one of the best Mets beat writers.
They’re all good journalists, but they’re not $20 a month good when there’s so much else on the web. It’s essentially like paying for music or video on the Internet. Why bother when there’s so much free stuff out there?
Maybe Newsday really is pioneering a brilliant new era of Web money-making, and maybe they employed a bunch of really smart people who determined that this was a viable business model, but I doubt it. It feels like a last-ditch desperation move by another newspaper in financial straits.
I just don’t imagine making content exclusive is the way to increase awareness and expand the online footprint. It makes some sense when it’s the Wall Street Journal or something which fills a very specific niche and caters to rich people, but not with plain-old Newsday.
I have to guess Newsday will stop charging pretty swiftly, or maybe fold. I don’t know.
It’s a shame and I’ll certainly miss it, but the upside is at least I won’t have nearly so much exposure to Wallace Matthews.