With this move The HuffPo, which started as a political blog, seems to prepare for a new times and is readying itself to become a main online magazine, newspaper. This move, already made by other blogs, fe. The Inquisitr might redefine the online news environment if Murdoch, and other conglomerates, continue their plans to put up paywalls.
In times when traditional news outlets are becoming smarter online and are competing directly with blogs for traffic, fe. by linking out directly to similar topic stories at other traditional media online presences like the BBC Online does, the news of paywalls is probably the best news since the crash in advertising revenue for blog and blog network owners. The battle for traffic can be won over the next two years, because even though mainstream outlets have recently endorsed blogging, their blogs are the first ones to suffer from the economic downturn. Paywalls will only help bloggers and probably result in even more financial loss for traditional outlets because if we learned one thing from the internet it’s that News should be free.
In a UCLAN lecture by Jon Snow, Channel 4’s main news anchor, the prolific journalist and new blogger, also mentioned that ‘Humans will always find a solution and manage to monetize the web‘, but if they think paywalls are the solution, all they are doing is make it easier for (news) blogs again. Others agree.
But news blogs have to become complete and follow the trace of the HuffPo and The Inquisitr and cover all channels, channels also covered by traditional media.
All that needs to be done then is find a reasonable pay structure for top bloggers.