Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What if online portals had nothing but 'digital fish wrap'?

The story running in SF is interesting because I lost faith in many mainstream media newspapers a long time ago and because the author seems to think that withholding news from the internet for 24 hours would send people like me running back to newspapers when actually I prefer to search the internet for credible news sources, selecting a sampling and checking out bloggers and/or writers actually on the ground.

Peter Scheer, a lawyer and journalist, is executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition offers up this idea.What to do? Here's my proposal: Newspapers and wire services need to figure out a way, without running afoul of antitrust laws, to agree to embargo their news content from the free Internet for a brief period -- say, 24 hours -- after it is made available to paying customers. The point is not to remove content from the Internet, but to delay its free release in that venue.

A temporary embargo, by depriving the Internet of free, trustworthy news in real-time, would, I believe, quickly establish the true value of that information. Imagine the major Web portals -- Yahoo, Google, AOL and MSN -- with nothing to offer in the category of news except out of date articles from "mainstream" media and blogosphere musings on yesterday's news. Digital fish wrap. And the portals know from unhappy experience (most recently in the case of Yahoo) just how difficult it is to create original and timely news content themselves.


paris parfait said...

Withholding the news online for 24 hours? What a completely stupid idea! Sounds like the guy is interested more in making money than in providing public information.

woman wandering said...

I thought it was a highly unpleasant suggestion ...