EDITORIAL: Why you should pay for news

IN the ever-expanding age of consumerism, the idea of paying for a product or a service is understood, and accepted.
Want the latest iPhone? You pay for it.
Want to watch Netflix? You pay for it.
Want tickets to the AFL grand final? You most definitely pay for it.
However, translate this same system to the realm of news and suddenly it breaks down.
A lady rang through to The Bunyip a few weeks ago, asking why she was unable to view an article of interest to her on The Bunyip’s website.
When informed that she would need to purchase a subscription in order to view said article, her response is one that no doubt many news organisations who have installed pay walls to protect their content have experienced.
“Oh, well I don’t want to pay for it,” she said.
And therein lies one of the biggest battles confronting news organisations, like The Bunyip, today.
The problem is many people, like the aforementioned caller, believe they should be able to access their news for free.
Some even go out of their way to make sure others do.
Trawling through Facebook this past week, I noticed a person had shared one of The Bunyip’s articles to a local community group.
Rather than just sharing the link to the story, the person – who must be a Bunyip subscriber – had copied and pasted the whole article and attached it to their post, so that it was available for everyone to read.
Hundreds of people had viewed it, with plenty sharing it and commenting on it.
That’s hundreds of people who are clearly interested in the content, yet hundreds
who may no longer feel compelled to grab The Bunyip that week as they’d have already read what they wanted to for free.
Many people will argue ‘well, we shouldn’t have to pay for news anyway’.
Let me explain why you should.
The Bunyip is an independent, family-owned business.
Like other Gawler businesses, The Bunyip provides a service to the community – to keep it informed through quality, locally-sourced news.
Yet, like every business there are costs associated with putting together the paper
each week.
How many times have you walked into a local pub in Gawler expecting a free meal?
How many times have you strolled into the local sports store expecting to walk out with a free footy, or cricket bat?
The answer is: you haven’t.
The reason you haven’t is that you understand in order to enjoy a product, you have to purchase it.
News – especially quality, local news – is no different.

Grady Hudd

@Grady_Hudd

Growing up in Bordertown in the South East, Grady Hudd moved to Adelaide and completed a Bachelor in Journalism before starting his first industry job at the Kaniva Times and Nhill Free Press in Western Victoria at the end of 2012. He moved to Gawler in May 2014 to start work at the Bunyip. Grady has keen interests in footy and cricket, as well as a passion for music and guitar.

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