Polish and Australian news outlets to begin charging

Publishers in Poland are some of the latest to try charging users of news websites.

Weekly news magazine Wprost will roll out its pay-as-you-go micropayments and a short-term metered subscription plan on Tuesday, while politics news magazine Polityka began charging in April, and rival Przekroj did so in 2011, paidContent reported today.

On the other side of the world, Australia’s Fairfax Media announced it will begin charging for content on its two main newspapers’ websites, a move that will see the country become the world’s first to have all its flagship newspapers behind online paywalls, News24 noted.

Paywalls will go up at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald and on March 4, 2013, their print versions will shift to compact-sized versions, The SMH reported this week.

Fairfax will also cut 1,900 staff members over the next three years in order to save AU$235 million by 2015. About 20 percent of cuts will be made in editorial departments.

“I think what it means is that the golden age of newspapers is dead,” said Michael Smith, former editor of The Age. “The big question is whether the golden age of journalism can continue.”

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