Once Again: People Want To Share The News

from the is-this-really-news? dept

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.

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Comments on “Once Again: People Want To Share The News”

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Mr Big Content says:

All Customers Are Pirates

Well, we tried to give them a chance, but it’s looking more and more like we can’t trust any of our customers not to rip us off given half a chance.

We didn’t want to do this, but in future our business models will have to cut customers completely out of the picture. You leave us no choice.

IntLibber Brautigan (profile) says:

I think that the newssharing winds up generating truth tribalism, as people select what news sources they want to listen to and which to disbelieve based on their preexisting biases and prejudices. It balkanizes society across the board in a similar way as we used to only see among the “chattering classes” who “don’t know anybody who voted for Bush” in the 2000 and 2004 elections.

People may avoid paywalls, but they still create their own walled ghettos of the sort of truth they are willing to believe along with those of similar bias.

KGWagner (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I think you’re right. I know in my case, I’m much more likely to see what they have to say at National Review than The Huffington Post.Those idiots at THP just don’t know what they’re talking about

But, what’s a mother to do? There isn’t a source extant that doesn’t add bias to their reporting/repeating/interpreting. It’s unavoidable.

I haven’t subscribed to a print paper in well over 10 years. Last time I bought one was because it was cheaper than a tarp when I needed to do some painting.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Twas ever thus -

Newspapers always had their own tribalism:

From Yes Minister..
” Hacker: Don’t tell me about the press. I know exactly who reads the papers: the Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country; The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country; The Times is read by people who actually do run the country; the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country; the Financial Times is read by people who own the country; The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country; and The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.

Sir Humphrey: Prime Minister, what about the people who read The Sun?
Bernard: Sun readers don’t care who runs the country, as long as she’s got big tits.”

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes_Minister

ernestinis (profile) says:

Is it true for All kind of news ?

Do you really think that all kind of news worth sharing ?

Can I still share using copy / paste + email?

Can user (who paid for access) share with special link which is unique for that content + user so that non paid “friend” could access content. This works fine with googles picasa service, or google documents: you do not get password you get ticket.

IrishDaze (profile) says:

Re: Is it true for All kind of news ?

This is exactly what I’ve been doing for years anyway. That and print-to-PDF to prove that I’ve not jacked with the text.

If paywalled sites can’t figure out a way to create dynamic, share-able URLs based upon current login, then they will create their own deaths from disappearing readers and lack of ad revenue.

Steve Stone (profile) says:

newspapers and the internet

My regional newspaper seems to go by the motto “All the news, that fits, we print.” The printed paper has been on a diet, slimmer than a comic book on most week days, printed on smaller and smaller sheets of newsprint. Last November they removed their forums from their website, a place where the community, for better or worse, came together to talk about the reported and unreported news of the region. I believe they fear becoming tangled in legal brawls requesting information of perceived slanderous forum writings. They continue their self induced death spiral.

Simon says:

The ship has sailed.

Some newspaper and magazine publishers seem to believe that paywalls / kindle / iPad applications are their future, but the audience for that model is rapidly diminishing.

There was a short time where (mostly older) people wanted to take their dead tree content and have it transferred as-is into an electronic format, but I don’t know of any younger people that want this. We’ve evolved, technology has evolved, and we don’t need our news and information filtered through a single editor any more. Like it or not, people are going to hop to a site for a single article that is interesting after being referred them from Digg/Reddit/Facebook/Twitter or whatever. If the information can’t be accessed, then it will just sink into oblivion to be replaced by one of the thousands of free and open alternatives.

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