19 Jun 2012

NZ may follow move to charge for online news - commentators

6:51 am on 19 June 2012

Media commentators say it is inevitable that newspapers in New Zealand will make people pay to read their online content, after Fairfax in Australia announced it would begin doing so.

Australasian media compay Fairfax announced on Monday it would cut 1900 jobs in Australia, close two printing presses and begin charging readers for online news.

In New Zealand, Fairfax owns dozens of papers, including the The Dominion Post, The Press and The Sunday Star-Times. It says it has no plans for a paywall around its online content.

David Farrar, who writes a political blog, says because Fairfax in Australia is moving to put up online paywalls, it is a matter of when, not if, the same happens in New Zealand, which will mean losing free access to the Stuff website.

Former The New Zealand Herald editor Gavin Ellis says younger people would not have so much of a problem with paying for an online subscription, but the older generation would for the most part be excluded from getting their news online.