Friday, April 03, 2009

Free ain't free!

"Why should I buy the paper when I can read it for free online?" -comment left recently by a reader on the Miami Herald's website

Here's a couple of stories for all those people who think that everything they read on a newspaper's website appears there magically...and for free.

  • A typical NYT Magazine cover story costs $40K-plus
    NYT Mag editor Gerald Marzorati on what's required of a writer doing a long-form magazine piece: "Weeks and weeks of reporting. Hanging out with the subject of your piece, hoping some scene will emerge that because of where it is and what the dialogue is, will reveal that subject. ... And all this time, of course, costs money. A typical cover story in the Times Magazine, when you add up what we pay the author and what the expenses for travel are --- and this leaves out the editing and fact-checking costs, the photography, and so on -- the tally is north of $40,000, and often, if a war zone is involved, considerably more."
  • Good journalism is "shockingly expensive"
    The Boston Globe spent more than $1 million to investigate sexual abuse of children by priests, editor Marty Baron said at the University of Oregon. When Baron was at the Miami Herald in 2000, it cost the paper $850,000 to do an audit of the Florida vote count. Tony Ridder, then Knight Ridder CEO, paid the bill "without complaint," said Baron. "How many newspaper executives would do now what he did then?"
    via Romenesko
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