“ A small levy on UK broadband providers – no more than £2 a month on each subscriber’s bill – could be distributed to news providers in proportion to their UK online readership. This would solve the financial problems of quality newspapers, whose readers are not disappearing, but simply migrating online.”
This is a horrible idea. Beyond being lead by misconceptions (i.e., people don’t want to pay for news because people aren’t paying for paywalls), the notion is so full of wishy-washy holes and old-school exceptionalism.
What is the definition of “newspaper” that determines who gets the fees? Does Gawker qualify or are only native, existing, “quality” publishers grandfathered in?
Further, the idea of distributing fees based on the share of traffic each qualifying pub maintains would only create an environment of page-view grabbing listicles.