If people would only pay for their local content, nobody would be worried about the future of local news. But so far, most have proved less than willing. EBay founder Pierre Omidyar, however, is testing out new models at his Honolulu “Civil Beat” site, per NYU’s Jay Rosen, who talked with TBD.com’s blog.
Full access to the site is $1.49 a day, or $19.95 a month, which might seem pricey for its current editorial output, which averages between four to six articles per day. As with WSJ.com, free days are occasionally offered as promotions (i.e., today).
Much more interesting is a 99-cent monthly fee to be a “discussion member,” with access to article summaries and the consequent discussions and the ability to comment. Rosen told TBD.com that “solves” the issue of getting bona fide comments.
People who engage in the discussions may not know exactly what they are talking about, since they won’t see the full article. But most will probably get the gist of it.