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Newsday has cut you off!

KW: On a splash page at Newsday.com it announces that their content will be pay-only as of October 28th. After that day, in order to read Newsday on line, you will have to subscribe, or be an Optimum on-line customer with them and register with them.

A story at Editor and Publisher here puts it in perspective: “The move makes the Long Island, N.Y., paper the biggest general-interest daily to charge for access to its digital information.” There is an overly cheery story at Reuters: here. The Reuters story describes the limited access that non-paying citizens will have.

I think that there are implications for media companies that make their content so exclusive. After all, our elected officials and government often give special attention and/or special privileges to journalists and media companies, thinking they are helping get the word out to “the public.”(I have often thought the way Cablevision handled the News12 debates was unfair. Elected officials who are candidates take time from their schedules to tape at News12 to get election information to the community. Then, News12 makes it difficult, or pay-only, to see that video of our elected officials on line. Cablevision, the News12 company, is the one who took over Newsday.)

As bloggers, the wilderside will not link to Newsday stories anymore, knowing that just to share information, our readers would have to register and pay.

I also hope that someone can step up to the plate in Long Island and find a way to again provide “free news” to the community. Suffolk Life folded. And, now Newsday has gone “exclusive”.  I understand that newspapers are struggling. But, I feel that there are better answers than the ones most have discovered -giving up, or going for-pay.

For one, would have been neat if Newspapers experimented with giving people more in depth content, coverage of all sides of the political spectrum, coverage of third parties, and less gore, sex, and entertainment. Because face it, most modern media focuses on the gore, sex, and entertainment. And, they failed. But, the can’t figure out why???? So, their reaction is to charge more and change their medium. Change the content!

I’m looking out for a hero! Who can come to the Long Island market and create a daily newspaper – in print and/or on-line – that can be free, but survive on ads, donations, and/or community support?

For now, will try to sprinkle a few more local news stories into the coverage at wilderside.

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