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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rosie, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    K, it's official.

    My paper is going to paid online subscriptions next week. We'll be the first of our little group of papers, but the others will soon be following.

    As in, the first two paragraphs will be free, you want the rest, you have to have a paid subscription. Oh yes, and, local, local, local.

    So ... anyone else done this? Was the reader revolt worth it?

    Personally, I think it's great that we're not going to be giving away our product anymore, but I cringe for the backlash I fear is coming (especially for our front office personnel, all of whom are the absolute best.)
  2. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    I applaud the bravery and hope it works for you.
  3. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    Print subscribers will receive online access for no additional cost.

    There are plans for additions to the Web site, those are still in the works.

    There's already been an outcry of anger on the online comments (a story about the change has been posted.) I just wonder how many of those people would be happy giving away whatever product they sell for free. :(
  4. lantaur

    lantaur Well-Known Member

    NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox have survived on that model for years. I really don't want to get into the back-and-forth about how papers aren't charging for content as is (in the print form), but please keep in mind that people are paying for it online - albeit not to the newspaper itself; it's called a monthly fee to your service provider.

    Publishers seem to think people will pay, readers have other ideas:

    Now, I don't know how big your paper is, but I think publishers have to realize that their content is not just local anymore. Your audience is the world. And someone in Bakersfield is not going to buy a subscription to a paper in Providence.
  5. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I don't think many people pay for Internet to go to the local newspaper. And paying for a pipeline is not the same as paying for content – it's an apples-to-oranges comparison. I agree that out-of-towners or former residents may not pony up for an online subscription, so the end result could mean less revenue when you take into account subscriptions and online advertising.
  6. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Maybe this is just how I feel today, rather than tomorrow and for a string of tomorrows, but...

    At this point, I'm of a mind to never pay for Web access to a print publication. Newspapers blew that long ago, and scrambling now to get everyone's money to bail them out of miserable business decisions just doesn't set well with me. I'm a newspaper lifer, BTW, but this turnabout that seems to be in the works in many places has the smell of flop sweat, desperation. Had they valued their product all along, I'd have gone with them on the ride. But they devalued it and then they degraded it via so many newsroom cuts to keep the free online model afloat.

    Now I'm supposed to pay for a lesser product than I once got for free? I don't see no stinking turnip truck.

    Perhaps I'll feel different tomorrow.
  7. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    I pay for internet for fantasy sports and free pornography.
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