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Do you pay for access to any online newspaper?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mizzougrad96, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I was reading a story about the Petrino hire yesterday and it took me to the C-J's website and said, "$9 for three months" and I just laughed out loud.

    Nothing against the C-J of course, but I don't see myself ever paying a cent for access to any daily newspaper and I'll bet most people feel the same way.

    I know this is the wrong attitude to have, but I'm guessing these papers aren't having a ton of luck getting people to sign up.

    Who here pays for online access to a newspaper? I'm curious.

    I'm not talking about getting the paper delivered. I know some of the places, online access is now considerably more expensive than getting the paper delivered to the door.
  2. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I pay for the New York Times online, and also have Kindle subscriptions to that paper and the Chicago Tribune.
  3. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    It shows you how much information has been devalued, doesn't it, Mizzou?

    Fifteen years ago, none of us ever thought twice about paying for newspaper subscriptions. I remember that one of the marks against the "weird family" on our block was that they did not receive a newspaper.
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I got three papers delivered to my door for several years. When traveling, I used to love to pick up as many papers as possible to read

    I read a lot. I have my Google News set up so I get the stories I want every day and I've never paid a cent.

    I follow the NFL pretty religiously, why would I pay to read any writer, even ones I hold in ridiculously high regard like Bob McGinn and Rick Gosselin, when I can read MMQB for free?

    I still get SI and The Magazine delivered. I pay for SI. I'm pretty sure I've never paid for The Magazine. I think they think I'm still a sports writer and send it to me for free.
  6. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    As part of your kindle subscription you get the NYT on line for free. You
    should not have to pay for it twice.
  7. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I have a Paperwhite Kindle, which does not come with the NYT online.
  8. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    I pay for ESPN Insider, if that counts (though I suspect it probably doesn't).
  9. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    Technically, I pay for my own since it's included in my print subscription, but being an employee, I don't really need it.

    C-J should have let you read 15 free stories a month without paying.

    Here's the thing with a local daily going behind the pay wall: It's not meant to entice out-of-area readers to subscribe, it's to give the locals quality content for the buck. The 15 free stories a month (Gannett, at least) will probably get one-time lurkers their fix, but for the most part, they're not the ones coming to the site everyday.

    I can only speak for where I'm at, but the pay wall was really frowned upon at first, both by readers and some of the newsroom folks, but it has caught on. Digital subscriptions have been a great revenue source and the readers who said "well, I'll just go get all the same news at the competing daily for free," eventually realized that news they were looking for wasn't elsewhere. On top of that, the other area daily has gone behind a pay wall, along with the state's major metro paper. It's been good for us.

    It's all about what content you're putting behind that digital subscription. If our sports section was just throwing up wire stories on the Broncos and Nuggets, our sports page would fail miserably. But by writing original features and, by far, the most breaking news, video and photo galleries on our local beats (CSU, preps and outdoors), people have been satisfied. Usually, the only complaints we get are about not agreeing with a story that was written vs. poor quality.

    During the bowl game, we sent two reporters down, while the other two competing outlet each sent one. While their paywall sites had 1-2 stories a day, we had a minimum of 3 stories from the bowl, Wednesday-Sunday, a quality photo gallery showing something unique you couldn't get elsewhere and produced daily videos. And I don't just mean talking heads in front of an iPhone--video that actually takes time. And people loved it, thanking us at the hotel lobby or emailing. It takes a while to sell local readers on the pay for news thing, but if you can provide the right content, they'll understand its worth.

    Or someone will just post all of your stories on a message board.
  10. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member


    The only one I would consider is the Chicago Tribune, for sports. But then again, they've let a lot of their good writers leave in recent years. And breaking news articles are still freebee on their web site.

    (sorry that I'm part of the problem)
  11. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    I have an Old school kindle and pay 19.99 a month for NYT 7 day subscription
    that includes on line access to NYT site.
  12. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    That's the problem at many smaller dailies, Matt (not necessarily yours, from what you wrote).

    Publishers love the paywall concept $$$ ... but when they realize it takes time and resources to provide the quality online content, the paywall fails miserably.

    Rambling online comments from nameless trolls on a free-to-everyone website is the easier, cheaper, and unfortunately most-traveled route.
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