Heather Brooke claims The Guardian’s digital-first and free approach is ‘unsustainable’

By Hamish Mackay |

May 30, 2012 | 2 min read

Heather Brooke, the freedom of information campaigner who played a major part in uncovering the British MPs' expenses scandal, has expressed concerns about The Guardian's strategy of being digital-first and free.

The author of ‘The Revolution Will Be Digitised’, in a speech which has been widely publicised in the UK, told an audience in Sydney: "It's an unsustainable model to give away news for free - because news is not free it's expensive.

"I'm very much against what The Guardian is doing and the reason I say that is because originally I was probably a fan, but now I just see it as a fail.

"It's expensive both in terms of resources of the journalist's time and also legal risk, getting sued” , pointing out: "The Guardian is haemorrhaging cash at a colossal rate".

Brooke’s comments, initially reported in The Independent newspaper, come in tandem with an article on The Guardian's financial problems in GQ magazine.

The GQ piece, headlined: ‘Could the newspaper that broke hacking scandal be the next to close?’, features editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger defending the paper's loss-making approach, underwritten by the Scott Trust, claiming:"We're not a pampered trustafarian.”

The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.

Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.

Sign up

Reporting on Brooke’s speech, Press Gazette observes that two years after The Times and Sunday Times went behind paywalls they now claim to have a combined total of 256,740 digital subscribers.

Trending

Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +