With the Globe and Mail as well as the National Post and other Postmedia newspapers building paywalls around their content, it’s worth remembering that some media brands are taking the opposite approach. The Guardian is currently not only leading on the biggest story in Britain but also expanding to the States — all the while promoting their brand of “open journalism.”
The “Three Little Pigs” video above, released in February, shows how the paper views its relationship with readers. They’re not just consumers; they’re also contributors who add to the conversation. And you can’t do that if you’re forcing people to pay subscriptions.
In an interview with Nieman Journalism Lab, the paper’s editor Alan Rusbridger says the Guardian isn’t necessarily against paywalls, “it just doesn’t seem the most interesting thing to be doing at the moment.”
What Rusbridger could also mention is that paywalls could be a siren song. Even if the New York Times model works for them, not all papers are as important. The Globe might get away with charging readers after 10 or 20 free articles, but will the National Post? Will the Sudbury Star or the Brandon Sun?