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

Citation

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.

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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