Why won’t some people pay for news?


Ask media types about what news organizations need to survive in the future, and almost invariably the conversation these days will emphasize “reader revenue” of some kind: subscriptions, memberships, donations — any means, old or new, of getting people to pay for news more readily than they have in the past.

The need is obvious, particularly for newspapers: As advertising revenues slacken amid the transition from legacy to digital platforms, there is little choice but to offset those losses with greater direct support from audiences.

But many people — indeed, the vast majority — remain stubbornly unwilling to pay for news (especially online news).

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