A badly-conceived "experiment" recently ended when the Miami Herald stopped asking its online readers for voluntary donations to help pay for news coverage.
This had the feel of a gimmick when it began two months ago. As I recently noted, the print editions of most newspapers don't generate enough reader revenue to survive. They rely on advertising.
So it's hard to take seriously any talk about generating reader revenue to support general news coverage on the web. Alternate sources of free news are plentiful and likely to remain so.
However, Herald executives may not be entirely daft. They are continuing efforts to expand online coverage of local communities with news reported by "partners" who live or operate in those communities.
The partners apparently include a paella of local web sites, weeklies, and small dailies. The Herald is trying to attract readers without having to pay journalists and others to produce the local coverage. This might help the Herald sell more local advertising.
What do the partners get? Access to a larger audience and a share of any advertising revenue generated by the experiment. Now that is an idea that makes sense.