Newspaper Pay Walls Are A Good Thing - Here's Why: What is the source of this ethical collapse? When did even the people who depend on the future viability of the industry for the sustenance of their careers and the well-being of their families decide that stealing the news was an acceptable action? Who gave them that idea in the first place?
One answer could be that newspaper publishers themselves created their own undoing. Starting 1996, all the news that was fit to print was given away for free using a business model that was wholly advertising-supported. This approach worked for a while, with newspaper advertising revenue topping out in 2006 at $64 billion.
What followed, however, was stagnation and decline. By 2011, advertising revenue from both digital and traditional sources dropped to less than $25 billion. Clearly, radical measures were needed to preserve the industry.