Will Times Newspapers succeed in its plans to charge non-UK subscribers a fee to access its sites? Salaam Blackmore from Switzerland wrote to me and said: "Folk like me are required to pay £39 to access The Times and Sunday Times online. For pensioners, a little pricey – so I shall content myself with The Guardian and The Telegraph."
And that is how I think things will shape up, people will go for an alternative. The New York Times used to charge an access fee to anyone outside the US. But this was short lived as people started making up US addresses to get free access! Charging for access in one country but not another is just crazy. What happens when a loyal reader goes abroad for business or holiday? I suspect they don’t get access! There are ways to make money but charging is not the way – people will go elsewhere.
Who says you have to be young to be an online hack? Jim Brennan, who runs his own Global Journalism Review, is now 81. "I hope to persuade other elderly hacks, by example, that life does not end at 65," he says. Brennan, who also writes for the Derby Evening Telegraph, used to be the owner of The Media Reporter, which was sold to Press Gazette in 1985. He is also looking for someone who might wish to be a sponsor of his project and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The annual European Online Journalists Awards (www.net-media.co.uk) has had a record number of entries this year. A total of 785 submissions for various categories were received, nearly double a year ago. But along with the quality entries, there were an equal number of entries that couldn’t make their mark on the judges. Organiser, Milverton Wallace said: "Many judges found some stories couldn’t be accessed because they were archived after submission or taken off the servers."
Hopefully next year, those submitting entries online will remember to keep a copy of their stories on their online site for others to view! Once again, entries cover a number of European countries with sites from the BBC, Guardian and Ananova up for many awards. A total of 17 categories ranging from Internet Journalist of the Year through to Best Travel are upon offer.
BT looks like being a major content provider again. It has bought music site Dotmusic and it is buying directory firm Scoot. Owning content that can be used for online and other mediums Ã- the way forward for a firm like BT, now that Web sites can be bought at bargain prices! BT to buySports.com? BT could get more content for broadband.