Sometimes when you need an answer, you have to turn to the cause of the problem. This is ostensibly what the Newspaper Association of America did when it approached the world's leading technology companies for ideas on how to charge for online news. IBM (NYSE: IBM), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) – often the target of much of the blame for the printed community's current predicament – responded to the query.
The two-part solution involves developing the appropriate infrastructure, which falls right into the technology companies' domain, and finding a way to get readers to pay – the crux of the problem newspapers are facing. The results of the survey were posted on the Nieman Journalism Lab's website. The 11 responses offer a variety of approaches.