Jeff Kidd's article, News websites begin to tinker with per-click, iTunes-style story access, raises some interesting points. Here's one in which I totally agree:
A la carte pricing might also radically alter readers’ habits.
As CrowdNe.ws offers journalists a new marketplace for their work, a new manner of distribution, and a different footprint for their work, we also gladly offer our audience a place to radically alter their habits.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how our audience will interact with their news on CrowdNe.ws differently than on the legacy news models they’re used to.
Will the audience prefer long-form journalism or short-form? Will they want audio, video, or infographics?
Will they want Tweets, or Timelines, or a pages of text?
We think they will want all of that. And why not? Our journalists certainly won’t be corralled into one style or format or voice. That’s yesterday’s news. A CrowdNe.ws Journalist is in charge of his or her own work.
And our audience will be their own publisher, deciding what news is important to them. They might want to watch breaking news from a CrowdNe.ws Journalist’s cell phone held high. Or follow an evolving story that winds its way to conclusion over three months. Or to listen to the sounds of the jungle at night from a journalist following the tracks of a story.
Yes, news habits will definitely change because the very nature of how news is reported and consumed is changing.
And here’s an interesting statement in Kidd's article to which I totally disagree:
Just as iTunes was no friend to album sales or deep cuts, per-article news sales might spell the end of dry-but-important dispatches from the City Council Finance Committee.
Note the “dry-but-important dispatches.” If it's important then it has value. The City Council Finance Committee dispatches have already disappeared from most news outlets because those outlets can’t sell the advertising to support that kind of local and hyperlocal coverage anymore.
But those dispatches are still important and per-article news sales is their savior because if those dry-but-important dispatches truly are important, then they are valuable to someone.
So let's imagine a high school journalism student, who’s interested in covering national politics someday, and is now cutting her reporter’s teeth covering her own local government. She knows her reporting is valuable to her local community and she uses CrowdNe.ws as her marketplace. Her reporting addresses a real local need: what's going on in their City Council, local government, and politics. Her local community finds value in her reporting and buys her stories,.
And maybe, another City Council Member, in another city council across the country, notes our high school student’s articles on CrowdNe.ws. He sees value in them for his City Council. And then there’s another per-article sale of the dry-but-important.
When the audience defines what news is valuable, be it local politics or international arms agreements, their news habits will definitely be altered.