Can Journalists Do Their Work for Free?

“The Americans don’t give a damn if the newspapers go down,” he said. “This is very different in Germany. This is Gutenberg’s country. We invented this.”

quote from NYTimes article re: Alex Springer, founder (back when) of a German newspaper publishing company:

“Springer, which publishes the biggest daily in Europe, the tabloid Bild, as well as other newspapers in Germany and Eastern Europe, says it wants publishers to get paid for their work on the Internet, at a time when many people assume that online news should be free.

“The meta-philosophy of free — we should get rid of this philosophy,” said Christoph Keese, Springer’s head of public affairs and an architect of its online strategy. “A highly industrialized world cannot survive on rumors. It needs quality journalism, and that costs money.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/07/business/media/07iht-springer07.html?_r=1&th=&emc=th&pagewanted=all

But, hey, with the literacy rate as low as it is in this our nation, and with all those reality tv shows, who needs newspapers anyway? Right?

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