Should content be free? It depends on what its purpose is. News organizations have been knocked flat as content has gone online and users have become accustomed to not having to pay for news coverage. At some point that is going to have to change. The New York Times recently introduced a paywall that requires users to pay an online subscription fee to access its news coverage. It makes sense. It costs money to provide good journalism. The questions is whether people will see the value and be willing to pay for it.

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The biggest challenge to whether the paywall concept is going to work is the competition The Times will have from dependable sources who will continue to provide the news for free. The model of providing free news in the hopes of capturing enough page views to sell advertising space on the site is a losing battle. This week’s Newsweek magazine includes an interesting article that interviews media man Martin Sorrell. It’s worth a read. Are you ready to pay? Why or why not?