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Mr. Moroney Goes to Washington

Dallas Morning News publisher and CEO Jim Moroney will be in D.C. tomorrow for a hearing on "The Future of Journalism," scheduled to kick off at 1:30 p.m. C.S.T. in front of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee's Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, whew. And he'll be joined by an all-star cast that includes no less than David Simon (the former Baltimore Sun writer responsible for, among other television series, Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire) and The Huffington Post's namesake Arianna Huffington, along with bigwigs from Google, the Knight Foundation and The Washington Post.

Simon gave what's likely a sneak preview of his testimony two weeks ago, when he insisted in an interview with the Nieman Journalism Lab that newspapers ought to charge for online content. Because, after all, "Television was free 30 years ago. Now everybody's paying 16 bucks a month, 17 bucks a month, 70 dollars a month." Moroney said something similar in an interview with Unfair Park in February: "Two years ago, I would have told you that asking people to pay for content on the Web is a ridiculous notion. Today, I will tell you it's almost imperative we experiment with it to see what the consumer will respond to." The hearing will be Web cast Wednesday on the committee's site.

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