Should online news sites charge for use?

A debate that has been ongoing in the journalistic community recently is whether newspapers that post stories and information online should charge people for the use of their online site. The British newspaper The Times has started charging forits website’s use.

ESPN now requires a paid membership to read exclusive stories.

Online newspapers can help people who are on the run quickly check headlines, look up movie times, and even check sports scores. I believe the opinion of most people is that newspapers should just sell advertisement spots on their web page just like in a regular newspaper. But with the decline of print newspaper sales CEO’s are looking for other ways to increase revenue.

But is this the right way to do it? One would argue that most of the online information that these newspapers will charge people for can be found just as easily by using Google

The problem is that there are so many sources available online if someone needs to get information. And while a small few may be willing to pay to read from a preferred source, I don’t think that is most people’s choice. I guess only time will tell if this new way of charging people for information displayed on certain websites will actually take.

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