The topics of web publishing, news media and the future of newspapers continues to be discussed and debated among those in the industry.

Paying For Online Content

Last week, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch said that the future of newspapers is digital, but it may be 10 to 15 years before readers go fully electronic. He also added that newspapers, faced with "eroding print advertising revenue and circulation", are going to have to start charging readers on the Web.

In the next year or so, readers of all Murdoch's papers, which include The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, The Times of London, the Sun and The Australian, among others can expect to pay for access to online content.

NYT Hires Social Media Editor 

Speaking of newspapers, New York Times has hired Jennifer Preston as their first social media editor for the paper. Touted by some as nothing more than a "twitter cop" Preston's position will research and implement ways that social media can help Times journalists find sources, break news and gather it.

Twitter Ruins Newspapers

While on the subject of Twitter, The Miami Herald last week, wrote about the perils of Twitter for newspapers. As if newspapers needed one more thing to worry about, the Herald suggests that Twitter holds potential for "staffers to spout off, spill secrets, give away their journalism."

The fear is real, so much so that in recent months some of the country's prestige press -- including The Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal -- have issued staff guidelines.

Additionally, the Herald points out that real concern over Twitter isn't how many people could be exposed to breaking news, but rather that journalists will be confined to their iphones, blackberries and netbooks looking for the next story instead of out on the street.

But it's that thinking is keeping traditional news media from flourishing, evolving and otherwise profiting: they keep coming up with excuses not to use social media and other web technologies.