The Independent takes careful aim at its foot…

And fires:

Selected areas of, including opinion pieces, articles by celebrated Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk, the news and sport archive and the cryptic crosswords, will carry a charge from this week.


While page impressions – the number of individual pages opened by a user – will inevitably decline with the introduction of fees, the paper expects most users to stay.

Users have four options: paying £1 to access one item for 24 hours, £5 for a monthly subscription to a section, £30 for an annual subscription to a section and £60 for an annual subscription to all sections. </blockquote>

Hang on. One pound for one article? The dead-tree edition costs 55 pence for the whole friggin’ paper! OK, maybe this makes business sense. Who knows. But it will certainly guarantee that my blog will not be quoting Fisk (nor the increasingly-crazy Johann Hari) much any more. I’m sure I won’t be alone. It strikes me as rather counterproductive to discourage access to the most lucrative parts of one’s web site. Expect a spectacular u-turn as the subscription fee income doesn’t make up for the loss in banner-ad sales.