You Can’t Charge For Something That Doesn’t Provide Value

Mark Potts on why newspaper sites will have a difficult time charging for their online content:

Think newspapers are full of unique content? Well, sit down some day with a copy of just about any paper and circle what’s truly unique and unavailable anywhere else. The result isn’t pretty. Do the same thing with the paper’s Web site, and you quickly realize that the problem is compounded by presentation that just isn’t very compelling, to put it charitably.

I sat down and did this with the relatively local Fresno Bee the other day and was only able to find a small handful of stories (most that were “soft news stories”) that were unique to the Bee. It’s kind of depressing to think that so many people working in a newsroom come up with such little original content.