Carioli, like many others, notes the is-it-really-a-coincidence coincidence of Dave Beard leaving his position as Boston.com’s editor, the very day before the web-split announcement. “I haven’t spoken to Beard, but it’s hard not to see his decision to take a job at The National Journal as a vote of no-confidence,” Carioli writes.
A week before the announcement, in anticipation of some type of new Globe paywall, Dan Kennedy of Media Nation wrote, “I predict, at best, very limited success—so limited that it may prove not worth doing.” After the announcement, he writes, “I’m skeptical, but I’m impressed.” After a Q&A with Globe publisher Christopher Mayer, Kennedy ends with these closing thoughts:
In this morning’s Globe, columnist Brian McGrory sneers at “every high-brow thinker in the new media business [who] has condescendingly repeated a phrase that is somehow as insidious as it is inane: Information wants to be free.” This is an oft-repeated bastardization of something Stewart Brand said in 1984:
On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.
I know of no serious media thinkers who believe journalism ought to be free. The question has always been, Who pays?
The Globe isn’t the first news outlet to take a chance in answering that question, and it won’t be the last. But it is the first to try this particular two-fer strategy, and the rest of the industry will surely be watching closely to see what it looks like.