Re: Ledswinger@ AC 09:53
"Why are you agreeing to pay the companies you are not getting media with?"
The revenue would be apportioned according to page views both in the graun's scheme, and in either of my proposals, so in net terms the errors would be of minimal value on a total bill of £2 a month. Also, whilst I do have a favoured news site, free to web at the moment, I do like occaisionally to read other sites, even if their editorial stance doesn't accord with my fairly strongly held views. You should try it.
"Why not pay them direct?"
Re-read my post, particularly the bit about not wanting site specific paywalls because that limits my wider choice. And most people are with me, that they do want access, but don't want to use an expensive paywall solution - look at how the Times lost 90% of its online readers after putting a paywall in. Many of those might still baulk at £2 a month for all UK news, I accept, many probably wouldn't. My suggestion of a universal ISP operated page view charging system would enable them to opt out.
"They are not giving it away for free, they advertise."
Err, you don't pay, it is free. Look up "free" in a dictionary. ITV is free, BBC isn't. Both have funding mechanisms, but I can avoid that for ITV if I so wish.
"If they don't wish to give it away for free then don't. Sell it."
Back to where I started, which is that custom paywalls restrict information flows that I'd like access to, and that the reduced viewing puts up the cost per user for those who choose to pay. You might say "good", but there is evidently insufficient money coming through paywalls to fund good journalism, and the free model you seem to support is not sustainable. I don't like the Graun much, but I think it is important that we have a range of views represented in the media, and they do occaisionally do some very good stuff. Maybe you think big media is dead, in which case good luck finding out all the top stories, well presented and written, updated regularly on Farcebook by amateurs. In terms of what news you get on the cheap, look at the BBC. Total news costs around £70m a year, and for what? No worthwhile investigative journalism since they had Blair and Campbell over their Hans Christian Andersen "Iraqi WMD dossier". ITN and Sky News aren't much better either.
"If they setup a website for free, don't call us "freetards" for viewing it. "
What's wrong with being a freetard? We're not paying El Reg for this. But you've got to live with the consequences of not paying for your content. Like that purely advert funded news gathering will gravitate towards what the advertisers want to be read. If you want the biggest advertisers, say Nestle. P&G or Unilever censoring your press so that you don't have to pay at point of use, then fair enough, but that's what'll happen. Look at how PC mags would usually skirt round any critcism of their biggest advertisers (back in the day, course), or how women's fashion mags never describe Laboratoire Ripoffeeay as overpriced shite that works no better than Boots number seven.
"They're the "drug pushers" giving away the free samples"
That makes the BBC the methadone of news, which I suppose is a valuable and accurate insight.