With the Internet access for almost everyone in the world, nearly everyone online users assume that the information posted online is free. The printed newspaper has encountered two phases of change, one, to convert their content into Internet format; two, to face the battle of should or should not charge their exiting free content to the users.
Many news agents nowadays, have their own websites which contain some of the news in their newspaper, other than that, news aggregator engine like Google, yahoo, provide massive news information to Internet browsers. All of those providers are now delivering the content through the Internet for free, at least from the readers' point of view, we don't need to pay any online content for now.
As newspaper readership has dropped and the overall global financial crisis strokes every industry, the News Corporation chairman, Repert Murdouch has been saying to charge online news content with his strong view that quality news content should not be free. He kept one step forward recently by saying that Google, as a news aggregator is a thief and should be banned.
As a online users, I still have doubt for paid-content in the future. The internet is too wide, people can obtain their information in any way through any providers. If the news agent wabsites started to charge for their content, I think most likely, users will find another way to obtain their info and as the consequence, news agent may lost their veiwing and then their ad support.