Why the Washington Post Will Never Have a Pay Wall

We’ve argued repeatedly that major newspapers made a mistake in the way they handled the internet.

First, they drank the Kool-Aid that internet advertising revenue would make online editions profitable.  It didn’t for a number of reasons, which I won’t go into here.

Now they are mindlessly adopting paywalls.  The question is: Why?  What is the business purpose?

If the business purpose is to get local people to subscribe to the local paper, that’s fine — although I don’t believe that any newspaper has a way to distinguish between the local reader and the reader halfway around the world.

If, however, the objective is to gain enough revenue from online subscriptions to offset lost revenue on the print edition, I’m certain that is doomed to failure, too.

That’s one reason why The Washington Post will never adopt a paywall, according to its

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