On pay walls

The Times and The Sunday Times announced their paywall plans today. I’m a journalist, but I won’t be subscribing, and I’m hoping that they don’t do well. Here’s why…

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The Death of the Author, uh, I mean Newspaper

This is compulsively readable, don’t balk at the length. Print it out if that makes it easier for you; you could enjoy the irony of doing so while you’re at it.

The health of print media has been discussed at some length on this blog before, look over here.

For the attention-span-deficit, a quick summary: news = important, paper = not so.

Over to Clay Shirky:

During the wrenching transition to print, experiments were only revealed in retrospect to be turning points. Aldus Manutius, the Venetian printer and publisher, invented the smaller octavo volume along with italic type. What seemed like a minor change — take a book and shrink it — was in retrospect a key innovation in the democratization of the printed word, as books became cheaper, more portable, and therefore more desirable, expanding the market for all publishers, which heightened the value of literacy still further.

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