Gannett’s papers, including the Clarion Ledger, are going behind a paywall this year. It will work like the one at the NY Times: You get a few free articles a month and then have to pay:
The vogue for digital paywalls sweeping the news business has made it all the way to the top:Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, is planning to switch over all of its 80 community newspapers to a paid model by the end of the year, it announced during an investor day held in Manhattan Wednesday.
“We will begin to restrict some access to non-subscribers,” said Bob Dickey, president of community publishing. The model is similar to the metered system adopted by The New YorkTimes a year ago, in which online readers are able to view a limited number of pages for free each month. That quota will be between five and 15 articles, depending on the paper, said Dickey. Six Gannett papers already have a digital pay regimen in place.
There is one Gannett title, however, that will remain free, at least for the foreseeable future: USA Today
The Commercial Appeal has taken that approach, something I only learned about a week ago when I got the “You’ve reached the limit!” message.
I sympathize with these paper’s need to find a business model that generates revenue from their content. But the Clarion Ledger’s coverage has become so weak– they didn’t even send a reporter to the supreme court argument in the pardons case!*– that I can’t imagine paying a monthly fee to read it. What this means is that I will read it even less.
*Update and possible correction: Kingfish, who was there, writes in comments they did send a reporter, although the story they ran on their website was the AP wire story on the argument.