Free software and newspapers

Folks who decry the idea of subscriber fees argue that paywalls won’t work, and that those who advocate for them, don’t understand the Internet. The opposite is true. These folks don’t understand the first thing about actual journalism. It costs money to cover a metro region, or a nation, or the world comprehensively, to place reporters at key points and maintain them while they cover a beat and glean information year after year. Anyone who still thinks that this can be achieved by amateurs or hobbyists are embarrassing themselves. It hasn’t happened in a consistent fashion anywhere, and it won’t happen anywhere. Journalism is a profession; it requires careers, and careers require a living wage, and until newspapers recover a revenue stream for their online product, they have no future.

David Simon

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