American Airlines parent filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this morning to reduce labor costs and shed its big debt load. “It was the last major airline to resist filing for Chapter 11 in an effort to shed contracts, a move that analysts said left it less nimble than many of its competitors,” as the New York Times reported.
There already are more than 100 “free” reports available on Google, including the major dailies and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The press release is free on Business Wire.
But here’s the message you get at the website of the Dallas Morning News, American Airlines’ hometown city: Two scant paragraphs (after a “pop-up” ad) and then you run into a “pay wall.” It reads “get subscriber content access to read this story.”
The price ranges from $2.31 a week to $8.53 a week to continue reading. The “pay wall” was launched in March.
The Morning News is the lone major newspaper in the Dallas market, once one of the nation’s most competitive newspaper cities. The rival Dallas Times Herald closed in 1991. Throughout the ’90s the Morning News won numerous Pulitzers.
Most news has become a “commodity” nowadays, as American’s bankruptcy shows. Putting it behind a “pay wall” only sends readers to the competition. And there’s plenty of it.
Google’s aggregation site already is a “home” for news seekers. Now Facebook is inching closer to an IPO that it hopes will value the company at $100 billion, as reported here.
As the Dallas Morning News publisher Jim Moroney himself put it in 2009: “If The Dallas Morning News today put up a paywall over its content, people would go to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.”