Going To Tabloids And Charging For Using Newspaper Websites
Winston Churchill once said that nobody but a fool ever wrote anything without getting paid for it, and on this principle I feel the nation's great papers, including the New York Times and Los Angeles Times should join the Wall Street Journal in charging users of their web sites at least nominal amounts. With circulation dipping, do they have much choice?
But I do feel that not everything by far ought to be included on the website. There ought to be some continuing advantage to taking the full paper. And, initially, the charge should be fairly small. Only in time, as the idea catches on, should the charge be slowly increased. In time, papers have got to spread out, as the NYT has done wikth its national edition. The LAT has gone the wrong direction, I believe, in slicing its national edition back to almost nothing..
As for tabloids, I don't believe in them. The LAT has already moved timidly in that direction, with a tabloid Calendar once a week. I don't think it's been wise.
In the long order of things, there is no way to maintain quality with a tabloid. Papers need space to present outstanding detailed articles, like the King-Drew expose.
Yes, holding back the future is hopeless. But it has to be channeled. We can't give up our future by doing too much.