And in that spirit of going against the flow, the news today is that the Herald is to begin charging for premium content.
And what is premium content? From the herald site:
"Access to most content on the site is free of charge, but exclusive comment material, where our columnists analyse what is behind the news, as well as our daily editorials, news cartoons and humour columns, require an nzherald.co.nz premium account to access. Sports columns remain free to access."
So you got to pay for your opinionated blowhards, pretty pictures and occasional chuckle. And how much? Well, you can purchase a days subscription for the tiny sum of $3.
Three dollars. When you can buy today's paper copy for, what? Well, I don't buy the paper except on the weekends and then it's usually squashed between a pack of Eta Honey Soy Chips and some Royal Draft Cola, so I can't rightly tell you. But it's not three dollars. Not even.
I'm not going to bore you by rehashing the story of the papers that tried to charge for online content a few years ago. And I'm certainly not going to send you to sleep by reiterating how they all backed away from the idea after people stopped visiting their sites. What I'm going to do is make you a promise.
If you want opinionated and poorly reasoned thoughts, if you want crude scratchings that make a puppy chewing on a crayon look like Escher, if you want more comedy than a velvet painting of a sad clown hanging askew in a seedy motel, then come friend, to the d1sc0r0b0t blog. I may not be incisive. I may not be funny. I may not even be awake most the time. But I promise you, I will never charge you one thin dime, not one brass razoo, not one simoleon, to read this junk. That's just how much I love you.
UPDATE: I've just learned the New York Times is to begin charging for content as well..