All this talk about setting up an iTunes for news and getting people to pay for news is rather silly.
Steve Yelvington nails it on Twitter:
Repeat something I said years ago: How can you expect somebody to pay for content if they won’t read it regularly when it’s free?
There isn’t one news source that I am beholden to. I check many sources each day and could easily live without any of them. I’m not that regular of a reader of anything, and it’s all free.
Google Reader, Twitter, Delicious, Publish2, Facebook, etc are my main news sources. I follow the links from trusted sources.
Also, it’s impossible to charge for commoditzed content. Just look at how many news sources reported on Steve Jobs taking a leave of absence today. Go ahead and be that one news outlet that charges for something that people can get elsewhere.
And I bet advertisers notice too how the same news is reported and dissected ad nauseam by seemingly infinite news outlets. That certainly doesn’t create value for advertisers. More likely, it creates a glut of virtually identical content, allowing advertisers to offer rock bottom rates.
Journalism isn’t as unique as journalists want to believe it is. Unique niche content that creates value for both users and advertisers is our best path forward.