From today, readers of Google news items will find their access limited to 5 items per day from certain sources – the majority of which are those who have been vociferous about search engines carrying their news for free. Announcements by the likes of Rupert Murdoch that Google is profiting from their work, and giving it away for free to people who then avoid paying subscription rates etc have been headlines for several weeks.
Some media groups have already made the shift to charging for online news content eg Johnston Press, who are charging £5 for a 3 month access to news on their website. It has to be seen how this will succeed in light of the speed that news now breaks on Twitter and so on, from citizen journalists as well as professional sources.
Is a new model required now that the internet has brought instant news access rather than yesterday’s news in tomorrow’s chip papers? Or will the major media groups find a way of extending the paid model yet further? Only time will tell.