KPIX CBS5 commissioned a poll that found 83 percent of people won’t pay for newspaper articles online.

Here’s a link to Sue Kwan’s report Wednesday about the poll and the idea of charging for news online.

Among those in her story is newspaper industry blogger Alan Mutter who points out, “You are facing an entire generation of that has been conditioned to getting everything for free.” He says pay sites only work if the content is exclusive and it helps a reader make money or save money.

The KPIX survey asked those who are willing to pay for news if they favored a flat rate or they wanted to pay by the article. Flat rate won with 76 percent.

Bay Area Media News


  1. The poll can't determine what people will or won't do. It's a measure of what people say they'll do faced with a new situation. Only time will tell. With Murdoch – who controls so much content – pushing for a pay model, the landscape could change very quickly.

    I paid for NY Times premium content and would do it again.

  2. Funny, newspapers rushed all over themselves to get online for free. Now, they're in a rush to make readers pay for content that had and is free.
    Should have thought about this before going online free. Once you've established precedent, is it too late to change the way the game is played or change the rules?
    Still, for all those who don't want to pay for news online, how about if we take your hard work and give it away for free?
    If online isn't working for newspapers, shut the sites down. They're not making money now so how much would it hurt?
    That's right, no more free news through yahoo, google or any other site. And close off all news web sites. Force the cheap bastards to either buy a newspaper or get a subscription online.
    Hey, I like that.

  3. Shows news isn't important anymore. The "Kansas City Milkman" died a long time ago. The nation watched UPI collapse so why should it care about news now? We are entering an era of "validation" journalism where you get "news you want to hear the way you want to hear it." People want news that feeds their ego, not news they discus with friends – unless the friends are named Joey and Chandler.

  4. Part of why we get our information on the web is ease of use. Paying for an article makes no sense for several reasons – we can get it for free elsewhere, and, it takes too much time. Instant gratification is the name of the game. Old days we paid a year or half year in advance to have the paper delivered right to our door. Instant gratification.

  5. These poll results aren't a surprise, but the make me wonder what the real strategy of companies like MNG and Hearst when it comes to erecting pay walls. They're probably attempt to stop readers from switching from print to online, and hoping their online operations make money—which they haven't so far.

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