Sunday, 28 March 2010

The Times to charge for access to web site?

The Times and Sunday Times newspapers, published by News International Ltd, are set to charge for access to their web sites from June 2010. Sister newspapers, such as the quality titles The Sun and The News of the World, have similar plans for the near future.

It is reported that the cost for access to The Times web sites shall be £1 per day or £2 per week for subscribers to the service.

It remains to be seen whether the great British public is yet prepared to pay for the right to read news that is freely available elsewhere on the internet. Do the web sites of The Times and The Sunday Times offer sufficient benefits for people to pay the money? Or will this move boomerang badly on Rupert Murdoch?

The Times Group itself puts is like this,

“Quality journalism has never mattered as much as it does today. That is why we're launching two innovative websites, and

Both will give you the opportunity to enjoy our news like never before. You will be able to ask the questions, engage with the issues, debate with our columnists.

We'll bring you unrivalled coverage of everything that matters - from the election to foreign news, to arts and culture, to the World Cup - in a more vibrant and stimulating way than ever before.”

Is that enough to justify paying for something we have benefitted from freely to date? Sales of newspapers in the UK generally are in decline, and many titles are now being given away, (such as the Lancashire Evening Post and London Evening Standard on certain days). The BBC is under considerable duress to provide a better service than ever for the compulsory licence fee, which will mean an ever better news web site.

It is possible that The Times may see this as a means to maximise profits, but it is also possible that this drastic change will backfire and result in the diminution of the Thunderer, which has been in existence since 1785.

The ubiquitous Times New Roman font, so beloved of Microsoft Word users throughout the world, was invented for The Times newspaper. How apposite would it prove if the demise of this great journal were to be triggered by the growth in the use of computers?

If you enjoyed this blog please consider donating £1.00!

Sign up for our Monthly Newsletter
The IT Dept offers computer support services in Lancashire, including Monthly On-Site or Remote Support Contracts; Secure Online Data Backup; Domain Hosting; Server and Desktop Sales; Software Supply & Installation. We cover all of Lancashire, including Chorley, Preston, Blackburn, Darwen, Bolton, Wigan, Blackpool, etc.
© Michael Donkin 2011