Nevermind the 21st Century. Traditional Media Needs to Understand the 18th Century

May 22, 2009 at 5:48 AM (Uncategorized)

News publishers, especially newspaper publishers, are in a panic right now. The combination of the free distribution of information over the internet and a crappy economy has them eyeing their bank accounts with a certain amount of anxiety.

They just can’t make any money, it seems. Several publishers, including Rupert Murdoch, want to begin charging for online access to their news content. The reason most of them have not already done so, it would seem, is their fear of Google. Google makes it so easy to find news content that, if any news publisher walls off their web site, people will simply find the same news somewhere else.

Well, certainly that’s a good point. A shiny, new post from Techdirt’s Mike Masnick shows that this is exactly what will happen.

Masnick points to a Slashdot post discussing Craigslist’s lawsuit against the Attorney-General of South Carolina. The original Slashdot post provided a link to an article at the Wall Street Journal. That article sits behind a pay wall. The posting later was updated with a link to a similar story on the San Jose Business Journal web site that is not behind a pay wall.

What’s the lesson here?
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