Seattle Times To Erect Paywall

Seattle Times executive editor David Boardman has announced that the paper will erect a paywall for non-print subscribers but provided no details. Part of the rationale:

Since The New York Times began charging for full access to its website two years ago, more than 400 daily newspapers across the country — including most in this state — now have digital subscriptions. Full, unrestricted access to their websites is no longer free.

The other part:

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More Federally Funded Research To Be Made Freely Accessible

open accessIn response to a We The People petition, the Obama White House has taken another step in the journey to provide open access to publicly-funded research.

Today the Office of Science and Technology directed all federal agencies that manage “more than $100 million in research and development expenditures to develop plans to make the results of federally-funded research publically available free of charge within 12 months after original publication.”

The open-access movement is not restricted to the United States, but you could argue that we are not moving as quickly or as radically as other nations. For example, last summer United Kingdom Science Minister David Willetts accepted the recommendations of a task force on open access. The first recommendation (pdf)Continue reading

Is It About To Be Illegal To Unlock Your Cellphone?

techmeme screen capture

Techmeme Screen Capture

Remember, if it sounds too awful to be true, then 99.9% of the time … it’s not true. Or not completely true.

And that’s the case with this headline, which made its way ’round the net on Thursday. The story popped up in a Facebook conversation on a different subject. Then I wandered over to Techmeme, where I made this screen capture.

But there is a germ of truth in the headline.

Read on. Please.

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Beating a dead horse: another post about newspaper economics

I promised myself I would not step into the latest gnashing of teeth over the future of corporate media, but here I am.

About a week ago, David Simon (“creator of The Wire and Treme“), wrote this in the online Columbia Journalism Review:

It’s grievous what is happening to regional newspapers, especially. But the whole industry will continue to collapse until everyone swallows hard and goes behind a paywall…. Once the content of the larger papers is no longer available to aggregators, then regional papers can safely take that same path and, maybe, there is an online revenue stream that will allow high-end journalism to survive.

Short of that, the great Molly Ivins is right, this is nothing more than slow suicide.

Simon abandoned journalism (he once worked for the Baltimore Sun) for the confines of a pay-wall monopoly: HBO (owned by Time Warner and responsible for one-quarter of parent company profits in 2010). He’s clearly an excellent weaver of fictional stories, but that does not mean he understands digital economics or today’s news business or even the pressure that cable TV feels from fiber-to-the-home. Continue reading