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Gazette polls



Should newspapers charge for their online content?

No 86% 801 votes
Yes 13% 127 votes
Total Votes: 928

Note: This is not a scientific poll.

comments


July 30, 2009
4:30 p.m.

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Zaphod ( Zaphod ) says...

Come on guys, the horse has left the barn. News and info on the web is free and accesible. If you charge or restrict content, you are only turning away readers that will go to the TU or the New York Times. both of whome publish online for free.
You need to come up with a new model and rethink what you do and how you do it.

July 30, 2009
5:05 p.m.

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LouL ( LouL ) says...

In time, all newspapers will revert to charging for content. It's the only place where you can get credible and responsible reporting.

July 31, 2009
7:19 a.m.

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fltom ( fltom ) says...

Here we go again!One of the only papers in the country to charge for online access, tyical of the Schenectady mentality! This paper is losing its identity and will probably go under soon, it started when the first genius changed the name of the paper. What a shame!

July 31, 2009
7:42 a.m.

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rcobello ( rcobello ) says...

Gone and probably forgotten...

RIP

Daily Gazette

July 31, 2009
8:06 a.m.

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nm ( nm ) says...

Of course a business should charge for its product. I pay for access to the Wall Street Journal, and I'll pay for access to the Gazette.

You get what you pay for. If local news agencies are forced out of business because there is no demand for their services, you won't get local news any more. You'll get gossip and opinion on the web, but not responsible reporting. And you certainly won't get the obits.

If you value the information the Gazette provides, $4 a week is a bargain. If it's not worth $4 a week to you, you probably won't miss it. But don't expect to get the same value elsewhere for free.

July 31, 2009
8:29 a.m.

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jjuniperab ( jjuniperab ) says...

Seems like everyone wants something for nothing. Newspapers don't deliver free papers to our homes, why should they post the same content online for free?

July 31, 2009
8:30 a.m.

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schdygrl ( schdygrl ) says...

The funniest part is...the TU scooped the gazette and published the story first! If you are the best of the best, you may be able to get away with charging, however when your only major local competitor scoops you time and time again don't assume that even if one did pay for local internet news, that it would be from the gazette.

July 31, 2009
8:57 a.m.

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wmarincic ( wmarincic ) says...

Who is willing to pay for news that is reported by so called writers like Katherine "Harchet Job" Moore who almmost never gives you the facts and as far as I'm concerned bases her reporting on personal vendettas. She continues to bash the SPD and I never see any basis of fact only supposition.

July 31, 2009
9:01 a.m.

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nm ( nm ) says...

The TU didn't scoop the Gazette. The Gazette announced in a letter from the editor first.

July 31, 2009
10:37 a.m.

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stoddard ( stoddard ) says...

As a boy, I delivered the Union Star and the Gazette. The cost was five cents per newspaper. I can't imagine that a nickel covered the costs of printing and distribution. The advertisers paid the freight.

It seems that the sale of advertising space would still be the key to success. Some people would never get beyond the comics. Perhaps paid adds on the appropriate pages might be the way to go.

Obits, for example are in effect paid advertising. These and other paid content are only there because it's already been paid for. Charging readers to view either would be a detriment to their use thereby effecting advertising value, presenting a case of diminishing returns.

I seriously doubt that charging readers a subscription fee for on-line use is the answer to this or any other newspapers survival. Your current system works for me and I still pick up a copy at the news stand on occasion.

Being politically conservative, I might suggest less left leaning content, as a means of appealing to and holding a broader audience.

July 31, 2009
10:52 a.m.

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rustidad ( rustidad ) says...

I don't care if it's free or if it's charged for, the news will be the same drive-by liberal lies disguised as spins as always.

July 31, 2009
5:29 p.m.

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mcintyre5943 ( mcintyre5943 ) says...

So those of us who grew up in the Capital Region and moved away to serve our country are left to cough up our hard-earned money to access news from back home? Thanks Daily Gazette for either not thinking about us or obviously not caring one iota about locals who are now far away. I will certainly remember this when I come back to the area and choose a newspaper.

July 31, 2009
6:12 p.m.

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Ground_Control ( Ground_Control ) says...

No offense 5943, but serving a criminally corrupt government is a lot different than serving your country.
Investigative journalism would be well worth paying for. Unfortunately, the corporate controlled media helped sell us two wars based on lies that have shredded our Constitution and Bill of Rights (which you swore to uphold) and made us despised around the world.

July 31, 2009
11:29 p.m.

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meinarsson ( meinarsson ) says...

Being as neutral as i can, i think that the DG is making a mistake. Yes, the online revenue might not be as lucrative as once thought but that can just be chalked up to 'bad timing award of the decade' for launching this new revenue generator during this economic downturn. No fault of your own other than the board should have done this back in 2000 to avoid this problem now, adn that trying this out for a year and a half and pulling the plug is not the way to go. Too bad more patience could not have been exercised in this matter.

By killing the online content that ALL of your local competition offers to the Capital Region audience, you are losing a part of your brand/product that would make you look that much more attractive to the buyer you will sell to in the not to distant future.

As for getting scooped--i agree 100% with the above posters. Many times i would read the TU and see they would have an investigative piece on a huge local issue and the DG would have on thier front page a story about a barn fire in Broadalbin or a moose on the loose in Saratoga--not really FRONT page news. It seems like the news staff gets a free pass on a lot of things and aren't held to a high stadard in this surprisingly competitve market. You canot contraol advertisers choices on where to spend thier money but you do contorl the quailty of reporting that goes into your product.

I know my opinion won't count but I think this signals the DG going back into the 'dark ages' and will not help the long term outlook of the Daily Gazette and the potential it had in its hands that the stuffed suits let go. I will continue to use the Times Union website for my source of local online news. If they can do it for free why can't you? Are you telling me that the 1200 paid online subscribers you MIGHT get back at $4 each are really worth it? I guess things are worse than i thought for the DG.

Good luck to all the 'little people' at the Daily Gazette!

August 1, 2009
5:28 a.m.

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mcintyre5943 ( mcintyre5943 ) says...

One thing I've discovered over the years is that as soon as someone says, "No offense", you can bet that offense is exactly what they mean. Whatever you think of the government, don't tell me that I'm doing anything other than serving this country. I was simply saying that the DG obviously isn't concerned with providing a service to those of us no longer in the Capital Region. I don't need or want a civics lesson. Of course, this is all written with no intention of offense being taken!

August 1, 2009
6:23 a.m.

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fltom ( fltom ) says...

What kind of an idiot labels our Govt.and insults the service of a member of our armed forces! "No Offense" The DG needs to tackle the problem of low advertising revenue.All papers survive on ad revenue. Advertisers base their needs on circulation and content. The Schenectady Gazette gave up its identity years ago and has dwindled ever since. This latest move will reduce their visibility again and once again, why do I put my ad in a paper with low visibility and hokey content. Try increasing your online ad revenue and look for ways to increase your views online. Oh wait thats not how its done in Schenectady. Most online readers are people that have moved away and like to update on the latest overtime winner in city Govt, the latest corruption scandal, theres even corruption in the local school district. Capitalize on the stupidity! Ive heard Schenectady on national news several times, but the Daily Gazette is unheard of, why? because the paper has no identity!

August 1, 2009
1:28 p.m.

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wmarincic ( wmarincic ) says...

mcintyre5943,
Thank you for your service to our country, you are a true American Hero.
Ground_Control,
The criminal corrupt government is the liberals both in government and in our country that have destroyed the fabric of our nation, weakened our defense and made it a crime to punish bad behaviour by our children. We are dispised because of people like Obama that travels the world bowing to Kings and apoligizing for America. We don't need to apoligize to any country for being who we are, the greatest nation on Earth.

August 1, 2009
7:12 p.m.

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meinarsson ( meinarsson ) says...

based on the poll results tallying the votes and the comments posted here, i think the people have spoken and the DG has made a huge mistake.

August 2, 2009
6:15 a.m.

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ddisist1 ( ddisist1 ) says...

Stupidity reigns supreme at the Gazette. At least for a short while until it's demise.

August 2, 2009
6:52 a.m.

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fltom ( fltom ) says...

Goodbye AGAIN to the online gazette! At least the ALBANY TIMES UNION is consistent and reports regional news better than the others in the region, hopefully Schenectadians will start using the T.U for Obits so the many people that left the city that used to light the world will know when their friends that never escaped have passed on and can pay respects to the families. Maybe their should be an entry in the T U obits for this paper!

August 2, 2009
6:59 a.m.

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fltom ( fltom ) says...

Also my sympathies to all of the American Serviceman overseas that wont be able to read a hometown paper because of this waffle!

August 2, 2009
9:44 a.m.

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WallaceH ( WallaceH ) says...

Sorry Gazette…

…but your strategy is doomed to fail. You’re cutting off your nose to spite your face.

YES – newspapers should charge for content. In theory.

The only way online news subscriptions can work and work well is if all newspapers in the U.S. charge for content.

The national newspaper trade association needs to develop this model. All newspapers from 15,000 circulation on up need to participate. A subscriber pays $150 a year (pick your figure) for online access to all papers. Newspapers share that revenue by a distribution model developed by the trade association.

It may not be a lot of revenue, but what’s the alternative? Subscribers cannot afford to pay $12 a month EACH to the Gazette, the Times Union, the NY Times, the Milwaukee Sentinel, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, etc.

Here’s the thing. The Gazette is effectively saying -- We believe that every newspaper in the U.S. should charge for content.

Now – if that happened, what would be the result?

Right – choking information flow. Depriving people of news. Because no one can afford to subscribe to a dozen or three dozen or 100 newspapers at $12 a month.

Is news an entitlement? Yes and no. The world has evolved, for good or ill, in such a way that news can be arguably viewed as an entitlement.

It shouldn’t be, though. A product should not be free. A solution IMHO is a nationwide access model.

The Gazette should be faulted for endorsing a business model that, if adopted nationwide, would be ultimately unsustainable and injurious, if not fatal, to public discourse.

The Gazette’s problem is that it is trying to stake out a leadership position by its own little self in this realm.

The Gazette is not a “leader” by any stretch of the imagination. CONTINUED…

August 2, 2009
9:46 a.m.

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WallaceH ( WallaceH ) says...

CONTINUED…

Let’s face it, the Gazette is and always has been inferior to the Times Union. Particularly in the area of scoops, enterprise reporting, and investigative journalism.

That’s not to say the Gazette is not a decent paper. It is. But it’s not a leader. And it’s in no position to stake a claim in the wilderness as one of the few newspapers in the country to charge for online content.

The result of the Gazette’s new online model will be alienation of readers and isolation in a world that continues to grow ever more connected. It will no doubt generate a short-term revenue spike, but it will jeopardize your long-term survival.

Obviously, it also diminishes public discourse and dissemination of information, to the (incremental but notable) detriment of society of a whole. You could almost call it an abdication of responsibility, were it not for the grim financial circumstances that triggered this move.

I know you Gazetteers have wracked your Gazette brains trying to devise new revenue streams. You’ve cut costs by laying off veteran journalists who had served the paper for well over a decade, replacing them with lower-salaried youngsters and of course reducing overall staff size.

I wish someone had the answer. I’m starting to think that, besides national pay-per-access, government subsidy of the newspaper industry might be worth a serious look. The BBC in the U.K. is (sort of) subsidized by the U.K. government in the form of public licensing (the public pays the government to receive BBC broadcasting), and it works.

Anyhow Gazette, your decision is understandable but ultimately wrongheaded and shortsighted and ill-reasoned, IMHO. And no, I will not be paying for an online subscription. Two final things:

1) Not making obits free online is just cheap and mean-spirited. For Pete’s sake, do your part to honor the lives of those who have passed.

2) I sure hope Jeff Wilkin’s blog remains free. We love his reports on chocolate milk, Coors Light, corned beef, and the Outer Limits.

August 2, 2009
10:19 a.m.

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WallaceH ( WallaceH ) says...

We get a kick out of the euphemistic headlines the Gazette used on this story.

"Changes coming to www.dailygazette.com"

"We're changing our Web site"

Bah! What watered-down, subjective, rose-colored, self-serving blech!

Here are a couple of headlines the Gazette SHOULD have used:

"Gazette to charge readers for online content"

"Gazette to end free access to Web site"

Talk about a double standard, folks!

If GE laid off 500 people, would the headlines read?:

"Changes coming to GE workforce"

"GE to revise personnel structure"

Or a Schenectady property tax increase. Which is the better headline?

"2009 Sch'dy budget brings changes for taxpayers"

"Taxpayers face 5% increase in 2009 Sch'dy budget"

Judy, maybe you'd like to answer that question...?

Judy -- apply the same standards to news headlines concerning the Gazette that you would to any other business!

It may be a small point, but this headline double standard is utterly indefensible and IMHO only further erodes the Gazette's credibility.

August 2, 2009
12:16 p.m.

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airedale ( airedale ) says...

All you folks are doing here is admitting to being dismal failures at maintaining an on line presence.
Billions are generated weekly by the millions of sucessful websites the world over. How is that money generated? Advertising. What maintains revenue stream for Newspapers and magazines? Advertising.
Are advertisers going to be spending addition funds with a diminished Gazette presence? No.
Are subscription sales and advertising revenue sustaining the Daily Gazette? Hard to say.
Is the Daily Gazette going to recruit new younger internet savy subscribers without a free comperhensive and instantly obtainable information. No.
My generation of pulp readers are going away, at an ever increasing pace. These kids never waited for the paper, read the scores or the weather. They got it on line, quickly concisely and FREE!
That is where they will continue to look, and find what they need.
Where does the website go without the 'kids'? It either goes away or becomes a financial strain on the parent...which means the already financially stressed newspaper takes another hit.

You folks need to invest in better business practices...sound ideas in tune with the 21st century real world business realities.

Quickly.

August 2, 2009
12:25 p.m.

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airedale ( airedale ) says...

...oh and this idea failed for the New York Times too...

August 2, 2009
12:44 p.m.

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WallaceH ( WallaceH ) says...

Since non-subscribers will soon be unable to comment at dailygazette.com, you can continue the discussion of the Gazette's regrettable decision here:

http://www.topix.net/forum/schenectady/T...

Topix.net -- with the end of the online Gazette, your new source for free Schenectady news and gossip!

Airedale -- spot-on commentary. Can you imagine a 22-year-old college grad getting home delivery of the Daily Gazette? hahahahahahahahaha Yeah sure a few oddball but not many.

And agreed, why would an advertiser spend on a Web site with a small subscriber-only audience? Gawd....

August 2, 2009
3:22 p.m.

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nygirl61 ( nygirl61 ) says...

To Airedale - perfect comment - I never gave it much thought, but you're right... if you want the sports scores, go to ESPN.com... if you want weather, check out any of the numerous weather.com's... if you want to know when the next booksale in town is, go to their website... etc... etc... you get the picture, Gazette?? We'll find the info you published for us... for FREE! And if I truly feel a need to read the actual paper, I'll stop by any of the many library branches and read it for FREE!

To Wallace H - thanks for the link to that website. I'll check it daily during my lunch hour when I used to read the Gazette! Get the picture, Gazette??

Gazette, your poll-voters have spoken loud and clear.

August 3, 2009
10:36 a.m.

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stoddard ( stoddard ) says...

A word to "ground_control"
Since your comments were not deemed offensive enough to be removed, why don't you tell us what you think the right kind of Government would be.

There probably isn't room for your entire manifesto but take a crack at it. I would ask that you stay on the subject of paid on-line content and how that relates your distorted political views.

 

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