Friday, October 27, 2006

Why Pay for Internet News

Gone are the days when The Nation and the East African Standard provided all internet news for free. The two newspapers have now introduced “prime content news”, which require subscribers to pay an annual 60-US-dollar subscription fee. This has not gone well with people relying on internet-news, especially Kenyans living abroad and the budding investment class. The latter group will now have to pay for The Nation’s Smart Company and Money and the Standard’s Financial Standard.

Disappointed Kenyans should worry no more. After all, Kenya is an emerging market with a well established entrepreneurial culture. As a result, the action taken by The Nation and the Standard has inspired other entrepreneurs to venture into news provision business, some for profit and others for leisure.

This claim is made clear by the number of websites and blogs providing Kenyan news. The number of those offering business news and analysis is by itself uncountable. One of them (http://www.eight.co.ke/) is reporting stocks prices live from the bourse. Newspapers report the same information once in 24 hours.

Economic and political policy blogs such as Bankelele, Kenyan Pundit, Mzalendo, Thinker’s Room, and Kenyanomics have provided portals for meaningful discussions, which cannot be equated with the scanty number of “letters to the editor” published by the two newspapers.

Why pay for “prime content news” while the blogosphere is still free?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

i have no problem paying for news but not at the quality and depth thats covered by nation and standard online

Girl next door said...

Paying $60 for a news subscription is outrageous. News should be accessible to the general public. I'm glad some enterprising people can provide us with the same news.

Simon Njoroge said...

You got it right Anonymous, it’s either they improve on quality or reduce subscription fees. Otherwise competition will put those them at their right place. Lots of thanks to Kenya’s entrepreneurial culture, as observed by the Girl Next door.

bankelele said...

If you're overseas and have the money I'd recommend subscribing for the full digital paper (http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/digital.asp) which is formated with pages, classifieds, obituaries etc - everything like the actual newspaper. Am told its free for USIU students