Vox Pop: Should we pay for online news?

Consuming news through a digital device such as smartphones and tablets is increasingly becoming the norm in modern society. Photo: Supplied
Consuming news through a digital device such as smartphones and tablets is increasingly becoming the norm in modern society. Photo: Supplied

A Reuters Digital News Survey reports that on average 41 percent of people use Facebook for news each week, with Facebook referrals to top news sites growing by 42 percent a year.

This year’s data saw a quickening of the pace towards social and mobile news, a decline in desktop internet, and significant growth in video news consumption online.

Twenty-five percent of people say their smartphone is their main source of news, with 41 percent of these figures being under 35s.

Our reliance on mobile platforms for news can be chalked up to two things: It’s fast, and usually, it’s free.

This begs the question: Are we prepared to continue reading the news in the way that modern technology allows if we are one day forced to pay for it?

Making money from the news is hard.

However, paying for online news is on the rise. Reuters report states that 6 percent of people surveyed already pay for online news in the UK and 14 percent pay in Finland.

In New Zealand, our current market provides free online news services with payment models being trialled in recent years and future models being introduced in later years.

Public opinion varies, with paying for online journalism still a relatively alien idea to most New Zealanders.

Audio: Aucklanders voice their opinions on paying for news

Daniel Gada
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