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Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger calls paywall approach a "19th century business model"

The BBC's Evan Davis interviewed the Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger about his paper's financial model, and Rusbridger lashed out at other newspapers and the BBC.

The Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger. Photo: Getty
The Guardian editor insists it's "lightyears better" not to have an online paywall. Photo: Getty

As reported in Press Gazette, the Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has dismissed newspaper online paywalls – such as the ones The Times and, to a lesser extent, the Telegraph and Financial Times have – as being a "19th century business model".

The BBC's Radio 4 Today programme presenter Evan Davis was interviewing the editor at an Institute of Practitioners in Advertising lunch.

Rusbridger criticised the paywall model, celebrating his own paper's "open" online strategy as "lightyears better". 

He also responded to Davis mooting, "we need three dailies to go out of business don’t we? There’s just a ridiculous over capacity in this market", by saying: "Well, I’m going to make a very cheap point here, Evan, and say that the same is true of the BBC. We need the BBC to go out of the market."

Rusbridger described his management style as "somewhere between cuddly and Thatcherite".

Watch the full interview: