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Jon Stewart Talks to Walter Isaacson on The Daily Show About Charging "iTunes-Like" Fee To Read Newspapers Online

Would You Start Paying For News Online After Getting It Free?

On The Daily Show the other night, Jon Stewart chatted with Walter Isaacson of Time Magazine about how to save print newspapers and magazines in the face of so many recent closings. In this clip, Isaacson laments the same news being on the Internet for free, and Stewart says firmly, "Sir, the Internet is free, I think everybody knows that."

Isaacson even suggests an iTunes-like system for news — not a bad idea, Mr. Isaacson, except that you're charging people for something that was once free (as Stewart says, this is "backtracking"). Not to mention that the iTunes/music connection doesn't really make sense, since music on the Internet was never legally free.

I'm still shocked that some papers' online versions charge for subscriptions, and I don't think I would convert to a new system of payment. Still, when it's saving print newspapers, it's not insane. Considering that over 80 percent of you say you read news on the Internet, while almost the same percentage said you wouldn't pay to subscribe to the New York Times online, tell me; would you start paying for news online?

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