Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Does Born Free Have to Mean Staying Free?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In a provocative speech on the state of the news media (the annual Hays-Press Enterprise Lecture), Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson explored ways that news organizations might charge for what they’re now providing for free. He cites recent Pew Research Center data that a tipping point occurred last month: more people in America got their news online for free than paid for it by buying newspapers and magazines. Isaacson addressed such issues as the pricing of books versus music, resistance from internet service providers to news pricing and existing payment systems (Pay Pal, Spare Change, Bee-Tokens, Tipjoy, etc). He advocates a micropayment system, one “so easy to use that you’d hardly think about making an impulse purchase.” Could this be the lifeline that traditional media outlets – but also citizen journalists and bloggers – have been seeking?

To see more on Isaacson’s speech, click here:

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