Monday, November 16, 2009

Still a good deal

The announcement today that most online content provided by The Wilson Times at its Web site, wilsontimes.com, would be available through subscription only is sure to be met with discontent.

Naturally, people used to getting something for free aren't happy when all of a sudden they have to pay for it. But therein lies the problem. Newspapers began giving away content online several years ago under the notion that, in time, increased Web readership would drive up online advertising revenue and subsidize digital content the same way it does in print.

But folks, it ain't working. Internet advertising brings in a fraction that print does and the online readership, which has grown, undermines print advertising because people are reading the news on the Web site and not in print. In short, newspapers are basically giving away their core product and I don't know of many businesses that can do that and sustain themselves.

The next option is no newspaper, in print or online. No local news, no obituaries, no wedding announcements, no high school football reports, no district court results, no comics, no classified ads, no nothing. I believe that newspapers are not going to fade away because I think people still want the news in their community and you won't find news about Wilson anywhere but The Wilson Times. And I might be biased, but $10 a month for a paper in your driveway and full Web access is a pretty good deal.

Hopefully, this decision, like many painful ones in recent months, will help ensure the survival of this newspaper so Wilsonians and those in the surrounding communities won't lose their source for local news.

Because this space, along with other blogs at wilsontimes.com and other online features will continue to be free, I want to step up my game, so to speak, and provide more content. Look for daily entries that might not always be just about local sports. Also look for score updates, which I will provide as best I can.

Hopefully, readers of this blog will become more involved with comments and discussions on the local sports scene because here, you still don't have to pay to play!


  1. Newspapers are going the way of the clothes pins. The electric dryer came along and clothes pin had no use other than hanging clothes on a line.
    Newspapers have conducted business the same for 150 years.They are slowly dieing because there are decision makers in the newspaper industry who say you can't make a profit on the internet. Seems like everyone else is. Newspaper executives get your head out of the"that's the way we have always done it"mode.The internet is taking you over. Learn how to use it for your benefit.
    The internet the new newspaper business

  2. I'm surprised we don't have to pay $10 to read this too.

  3. Paying to read WilsonTimes.com is a joke. Revamp your Advertising Department and policies.

  4. Well, there is a school of thought that says the print product will fall by the wayside and I'm not going to argue against it. However, Internet advertising brings in a fraction of what print does and this is true in all markets, not just Wilson. It's not a matter of having the advertising department work harder or revamping policies. If there's no advertising money to pay for a paper or a Web site, you get what you pay for — nothing.