Differentiation through newspapers paywalls

toward a “Gresham’s law” of information? Case studies of some Swiss and French daily newspapers

Authors: Patrick-Yves Badillo and Dominique Bourgeois


Badillo, P.-Y. & Bourgeois, D. (2020). Differentiation through newspapers paywalls: toward a “Gresham’s law” of information? Case studies of some Swiss and French daily newspapers. Journal of Creative Industries and Cultural Studies–JOCIS5 (1), 88–108.


The paper proposes an evaluation of the impact of paywalls on information. A new media model based on digital platforms and paywalls is the theoretical basis. A literature review shows that currently many newspapers operate some kind of paywalls; however, the choice of free and/or paywalled content is not obvious. We study the cases of three Swiss newspapers and three French newspapers. The types of paywalls and the subscription prices are described. Data concerning free and paid articles are analysed for some main sections. Results show differentiation between free and paid articles concerning the authors and the types of articles. Different strategies appear, particularly at the level of different sections of a newspaper. Finally, we discuss the idea of a kind of “Gresham’s law” of information.


Newspapers, paywall, differentiation, information, Gresham’s law.

ISSN: 2184-0466.
This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.