On "Free news will cost journalism dearly" (Consumer Confidential, Dec. 26) by David Lazarus about increased use of websites by the news media, both print and electronic: Don't you people understand that you are committing suicide?
When I read the newspaper or watch television news, I expect to read/hear the entire story, or as much as is currently known. I do not want to see/hear a story "teaser" and then be told to go to the Internet.
I doubt there are as many people as you apparently think who are willing and able to spend all that time on their computers to discover the "punchline" to a story to make it worthwhile to befriend those people while alienating those who are already customers.
Online news is already creating earnings for journalism. However, the predominant problem is the free availability of copyrighted material, which could be resolved by charging a universal annual fee of, say, $25, for all who would use the Internet.
Another approach, which could help settle the writers strike, would be to take a hint from the music trade, which collects a small fee on behalf of the content rights holder for each use. The same principle could be applied to the licensing of any intellectual property on the Web.
I wonder what is wrong or not viable with the business model of supplying Internet news sites along with the print editions on a paid subscription basis. For example, free Internet access to the site with a paid print subscription or a nominal charge of $5 a month for Internet access only.
As a 53-year-old who grew up with the paper every day and one who has had a subscription to The Times since moving to Los Angeles in 1977, I have a hard time convincing my younger friends to subscribe to the paper because they just tell me that they "can read it for free" online -- and are helping to save a tree.
My father was a newspaper man in Kansas City from 1950 to his death in 1995, and it pains me to see the decline in the power and reach of the printed newspaper. In a way I'm glad he's not here to see it.
James P. Scott
How would I eat meals without my L.A. Times? I'm not going to eat in front of my computer, not full meals at least, and take the chance of spilling or dribbling food on my keyboard just so I can read the news.
Online news is a quick glance for me, in between work and other computer tasks. It's great for research, too. But reading the newspaper is relaxing, a pleasurable habit as I nibble a meal or snack at the kitchen table while my kids play video games.