I notice some folks saying that the New York Times is going to offer subscriptions for online reading. Okay, if that's their market plan, so be it.
I won't pay to read an online periodical of any kind, and I suspect a lot of people won't pay to read something online.
The newspapers in this country are going through a rough stretch and they've got to decide how to configure their product to survive into the future. Newspapers haven't yet figured out how to prosper in a changing information age. We still subscribe to the local paper, but they've forgotten how to provide basic customer service. The way I figure it, newspapers survive by advertising and by articles that reach a broad section of the local readership. The bigger the market saturation, the more they can charge for advertising inches.
If a newspaper completely covers a local area, they can guarantee to advertisers that an ad will reach everyone in town. Basically, advertising should cover printing costs and profit, subscription prices should cover delivery costs. But, newspapers should guarantee delivery as part of the subscription price. Lately, delivery of the local newspaper is problematic at best. Sometimes it shows up on time in the morning, sometimes it doesn't. That's no way to run a business.
If you charge me to read a newspaper online, I won't read it online. It's simple as that.