Does Huffington's Argument Hold Oil?

Arianna Huffington was very provocative yesterday at the Mirror Awards, where she gave a keynote address and accepted the Fred Dressler Lifetime Achievement Award (for which Nora Ephron, introducing her, joked that Arianna she wasn't old enough). The Huffington Post founder not only answered critics in saying she has not been killing newspapers and that she pays journalists -- issues you can read about elsewhere -- but she also likened those who would charge for news to those who are putting up protective walls in other industries. If I heard correctly (I'm trying to get a transcript -- silly me for Twittering while she spoke, instead of taking notes or running a recorder), she talked of oil companies that try to tamp down on gas mileage advances.

But how are those who wish to charge for news are hurting the industry? For, if they're wrong, the market will prove them so. There's not, to my knowledge, a push for government regulation to force sites to pay for news, or make consumers pay for something they don't want. Sure, there are those who want to get paid for the content they produce -- that gets into issues of fair use, and fairness, in general.

Still, if if someone wants to try to charge for news they produce, why stop them from doing so? It's just another business model. There's probably room for that way and Huffington's

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