To: Ash
From: Crecente
Re: Shopping For Furniture, With Added Cosplayers

So a bunch of former Rocky Mountain News writers held a press conference today to announce that they were going to try and launch an online only newspaper. InDenver Times is meant to be an aggressive, well-written, edited, thoroughly professional online newspaper.

I love the idea, but there's a catch. They want to charge a $5 a month subscription for the e-paper. If they get 50,000 people willing to commit by late April they plan to go live.

Initially I was pretty taken aback by the idea of charging for an online newspaper. But I've since reevaluated. For starters the Associated Press reports that the fee will only be for additional content, like forums, columns and other content, but that the main paper will be free. Also, we pay for magazines, why not pay for newspapers.

I know this runs against all that is the Internet, but why does it have to be free to survive? That's mostly a rhetorical questions, since I know the answer, but this whole deal puts one very important question in the spotlight: How much are you willing to pay to have a watchdog publication in your city?

Is $5 too much to ask to make sure that someone is keeping an eye on the politicians, the police, the businesses, the government? Also, wouldn't a model like this be, in theory, more accountable than the traditional newspaper model.

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