Monday, 21 May 2007

Pay to read

Ellee Seymour is a blogger in Britain who is devoting space daily to missing children around the world.

"Every day from today, I am going to write a post about a missing person," Ellee, a journalist, says on her blog. "I am doing it to remind us that this is a terrifying nightmare that happens to some families. How they continue their tormented lives, I cannot imagine, it must be a living hell."

Today's posting on missing children is a review of the 1985 disappearance of Nicole Morin in Toronto. Ellee provides a profile of Nicole's case and a link to Brian Gray's "very poignant" Toronto Sun interview with Nicole's father, Art.

But this is what her blog readers get with the Sun link provided:

"The story you are searching for is available in its entirety via email, fax or mail for $12.00 (plus GST), payable with credit card (include expiry date)."

International interest in a Toronto missing persons case and Sun Media wants twelve bucks?

Yes, other newspapers are charging for older stories, but surely they can all exclude stories about unsolved missing persons cases and unsolved major crimes.

Besides, Sun Media's pay-to-read policy isn't consistent. There are Sun stories and columns written years ago that are still active without a demand for payment.

Providing free access to Sun stories and columns about Nicole and other missing children and adults wanted for major crimes could help in the investigations.

Ellee's readers are also directed to a U.S.-based Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community forum where Brian Gray's full Sun column on Nicole is posted, avoiding the need to cough up $12.

The Crime Sleuthing site includes numerous forum comments about Nicole's case.

Here we have world-wide interest in one of our lost children. It is the Internet at its best, a true global village forum.

And Sun Media wants twelve bucks.

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