Business paper to charge for online content

AMID industry-wide discussion on the possibility of charging for online journalism, New Zealand’s National Business Review has told readers it is taking the plunge, offering a six-month subscription for $NZ89.

Publisher Barry Colman said his publication was at the start of “The Great New Journalism Adventure”.

The introductory price will be followed by a standard charge of $NZ149.

The “Subscriber Only Content service” would be additional to the regular news provided online, Mr Coleman said in a letter to readers.

“These selected, top stories will be aimed at providing you quality, original, useful material you will not read anywhere else”, he wrote. “And they will be relevant to you as a time-poor business person. They will add a new quality dimension to business reporting in New Zealand.

“We will be offering you an introductory subscription rate for access to this exclusive content for $89 (normal rate $149). This will allow you automatic access to all Subscriber Only Content for the next six months. The cost is a little more than 80c a day and I promise you it will be one investment you won’t regret.”

Mr Colman predicted 20 per cent of the NBR’s web news would be behind the subscriber-only firewall.

He described the practice of providing news online for free as “madness” and complained that “the aggregators” had “profited the most from the supply of … free news copy”.

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