Friday, March 20, 2015

Newspapers - slitting their own throats

I remember a conversation with the publisher of the Northwest Herald several years ago, when I asked if that paper intended to charge readers of its online edition. John Rung told me absolutely not!

Well, time's change.

Instead of finding creating ways to get (invite, sell) readers to buy their paper editions, they watched circulation shrink. Now many, many newspapers want to charge online readers. They spring digital registration at readers after just a few visits.

These papers forget that they might have readers who are not local. Would local readers be more inclined to fork over $8-10 each month to read their "papers" on their laptops or iPads or phones?

What if papers charged $0.25/day? Sure, I might not part with a quarter every day, but I'd drop a quarter to read interesting articles. Would you?

I like to skim the Northwest Herald, the Chicago Tribune, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and even my local paper, The State. Some of them (ex., Chicago Tribune) at least warn you in advance that an article is available only on the paid, digital format. Others, like my local paper (The State) do not. When you try to read the paper online, you are directed to the digital registration.

All that does is make me mad. At least, I know in advance that the Tribune isn't going to let me read an article without paying. Rather than drawing me into paid status, the surprise registration pages just push me farther away.

Don't worry. I won't be creating a "paid edition" of the Woodstock Advocate...

1 comment:

Big Daddy said...

I'd pay .25 a day to read an online newspaper if I could find one that was fair,honest,objective and reported the truth instead of the gibberish they now report.