Lots of folks have been sending in the "news" about news consumption from a new Pew study
. A lot of the attention being paid to the study focuses on how more people are using the internet for news than newspapers, but that was an obvious trend. What I find a bit surprising is how few people seem to be talking about one of the other findings: that so many people are actively involved in "shared news." That is, they either share news links or get news links from others on a regular basis. This is something we've discussed
for the better part of a decade, but which many in the news business still don't get. When they put up paywalls and even registration walls to limit access to the news, they make it difficult to impossible for people interact with the news the way they want to. It shows that publishers still have a mentality that they are "delivering" a final product to consumers -- whereas most readers now think of themselves as a part of the process, hoping to spread the news to others, to comment on the news, and to be a part of the overall experience. The Pew study found that 75% of people get news sent to them by friends via email/social networks and 52% take part in sharing links. That becomes a lot
harder with paywalls.