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Your Take

Your Take... On Newspapers

We'd like to get your take on this week's story about the decline of newspapers and rise of news on the web. Just how much would you be willing to pay for online news?

We'll share your take on the next episode of SoCal Connected.

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Pay for online news... seriously???

There has always been a free format for news. You can tune into a news radio station for free. Sure there are advertisements, there are adverts on most successful websites and particularly in newspapers and on TV that some still pay for as well. People don't pay for news, if you were interested simply in news you could find free formats everywhere. They pay for the presentation of news.

I think the question should be "Why should we be expected to pay for content that is currently free when the old guard can't adapt to survive changing markets?"

IF, and only if, there is no other way to get the news, I supposed I would have to pay to read it on line. However.... as I see it, on-line is great for the 30- and 40-somethings who enjoy being 'connected' all day. What about the 70-, 80- and 90-somethings who know little or nothing of computers, let alone the internet. How are they supposed to get their news? And even the 50s and 60s.... We were not born with computers attached to our brains. We enjoy reading. We enjoy browsing a paper - not clicking here and clicking there and trying to figure out how someone has arranged their thoughts on unseen pages on a screen. Give me a newspaper any day!!!

The daily newspaper is very important to me even though I also watch TV news programs (BBC news, Nightly Business Report and The Newshour)on a daily basis. Each of these sources has a unique role, each complementing the other. I would consider the loss of a major daily paper such as the Times as a catastrophe. Though I applaud the efforts of an online news source such as Voice of San Diego, I cannot see them as a completely satisfactory substitute for a good newspaper that provides high level investigative journalism over the full range of the news spectrum. I would potentially be prepared to subscribe to such an online news service but I would prefer to pay quite a bit more for a newspaper such as the Times if this would keep them publishing. I think that people generally (perhaps especially in the US) undervalue the true worth of good newspaper journalism. It is an essential element of democracy and society in general.

The idea that we will be able to get the news for free to replace that of the LA Times or Daily News or OC Register is wrong. At least for years to come. It currently takes 600 reporters (down from 1,200) for the Times to cover the city, nation and world. All other So Cal radio, TV and online sources combined do not approach that number. So unless you are happy with just knowing the weather, sports scores and press releases, you have to realize that it takes hundreds of real journalists and real editors to cover this city.

And online publishing models (non-profit or profit) are not even close to paying for a staff like this. So just like we pay for cable TV/Satellite TV, we are going to have to pay for journalists to continue to make us an informed democracy.

I wouldn't pay. I would just get the news from the radio or TV. I don't feel the news should be charged for, after all it is public information. When a person buys the newspaper at least you get ads and coupons for your money.

Newspapers have been digging their own demise over recent years. They have forgotten how to present the news in an unbiased manner. You don't know when you are reading fact, or journalistic license. Quickly you determine the liberal bent of the reporter. By the by, PBS programming is beginning to follow suit. Maybe you wonder where your audience and support is disappearing to!

Would like to see on-line journalism as part of restructuring of Southern california newspaper industry. Each paper publishes essentially the same national news. Instead of L.A. Times, San Diego Union, Inland Empire & Orange county news, why not have just one major "Southern California Times," with each area having a section devoted to the local news. I believe this combining of resources would free enough capital to pay for on-line journalists who would also be published in the print edition.

Tom Franklin

I know this is a hot-button topic right now...how to keep traditional newspapers afloat...but when I think about the breadth and scope of the New York Times site, for example, I would be happy to pay for the news there.

Of course, it's all free right now so good luck to anyone who wants to start asking all their online readers for money, but it's such a thorough site filled with great content that I would be happy to pay my share as a consumer.

How much would I pay? Digital alone? $50-60 a year, perhaps.

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