TechDirt is reporting that the Associated Press is poised to be the next in a long line of news organizations to completely bungle their online distribution methods by making their content require payment. While this wouldn't happen for a while due to deals with others, like Google, to distribute AP content for free, even considering this is a massive step in the wrong direction. "Also, I know we point this out every time some clueless news exec claims that users need to pay, but it's worth mentioning again: nowhere do they discuss why people should want to pay. Nowhere do they explain what extra value they're adding that will make people pay. Instead, they think that if they put up a paywall, people will magically pay -- even though the paywall itself is what takes away much of the value by making it harder for people to do what they want with the news: to spread it, to comment on it, to participate in the story. Until newspaper execs figure this out, they're only going to keep making things worse."
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