For Bentley â€” who co-owns AllNovaScotia with his daughter, the publisher â€” â€œgetting it out thereâ€ simply wouldnâ€™t happen without the siteâ€™s uncompromising paywall.
â€œWeâ€™ve got to do that, otherwise they wonâ€™t buy the bloody thing,â€ he says flatly. â€œOur competition is people who want to read it for nothing. Thatâ€™s the great big overarching thing that attempts to suck our blood every day. It sounds a bit paranoid. But thatâ€™s the problem.â€
The result, says the consultant and blogger Donham, is a web site that would appear not to get the Internet at all, by todayâ€™s online news norms.
But thatâ€™s fine with Bentley. He knows what his content is worth to his audience â€” in contrast to many media excutives who â€œthink what theyâ€™ve got is more valuable than it is.â€ He acknowledges the value of social media in the Arab Spring uprisings, but insists, â€œYou canâ€™t be in the content business and not get paid for it.â€