Thoughts from the top
First, allow me to briefly introduce myself to First Draft readers: I’m Mike Rose, a young journalist calling Austin, Minn., home and, in a week, an attendee of the SPJ’s Summer Reporters Institute. Along with Nate Miller, I will be doing some blogging during the institute, trying to provide some good tidbits of journalism knowledge. I encourage you to check it out.
Now on to some food for thought: I recently read this MinnPost Q and A (written by Minnesota Daily alum and all around good guy, David Brauer. For the record, I’m a Daily alum, too) with the Star Tribune’s CEO, Mike Klingensmith. Brauer and Klingensmith touch on a number of subjects, but the one I wanted to highlight for this forward-thinking blog is the idea of paywalls. As the name implies, a paywall would make some editorial content restricted to free loading readers. Klingensmith’s concept is that those who do want to ante up for “better” content can do so and pay accordingly. This “metering” idea would allow those looking for only quick headlines to browse for free, but would make the newspaper some money when readers view exclusive investigations and the like.
That, of course, is the theory behind the idea. But would it actually work, especially in a two paper area like the Twin Cities, where the competition (the Pioneer Press) could remain 100 percent free? Klingensmith seems to think so, but I’d love to hear what YOU think. Is this a viable option for newspapers looking to figure out the online enigma?
P.S. Part II of the Q and A is here, if you’re interested.