"It was always our intention to wait until the website was solidly established, with lots of hits, so that we had a large base of loyal online readers before returning to a profit and cost model," explains the FT's financial director, John Makinson. Many newspapers are suffering financially, in both their online and print versions, from a drop in advertising revenue due to the worldwide recession and will no longer be offering the fruits of their employees' labours free to readers.However, the experts warn there is no guarantee that internet users accustomed to accessing information for free will be prepared to pay for it. "It sounds like a good idea," says David Card, an analyst with Jupiter Media Matrix. "But charging for online news is a risky business." It is a risk that numerous news organisations are prepared to take, including the New York Times, ABC News, information technology site Net and Fox Sports, as well as other sites accessed through Yahoo. The New York Times launched its online edition in December, offering readers an exact replica of the daily paper on their computer screens. A spokesperson says 2,600 subscribers have already signed up, and are paying around 6.70 US Dollars a week., an information and entertainment site in the US, also charges subscription and boasts a paying readership of 35,000. "Our users have...

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