According to WCPO's John Matarese, and The Cincinnati Enquirer itself, Gannett, the parent company that owns The Enquirer and thousands of other newspapers around the country, will start charging for online content later this year. This is a move that could be seen from a mile away as newspapers around the country, including The New York Times, have recently implemented similar systems for their online content.
According to the Enquirer, there will be a limited number of free articles that can be read online every month but to read anything beyond those articles, readers would need to buy a subscription. This means that if you want to continue to read Joe Reedy's, the Enquirer's Bengals beat writer, articles on the Bengals, you'll likely need to pay for a subscription, at least to get all of them. In a recent statement from Gannett, the company said that all subscriptions would show the full paper online and it would have mobile and tablet access.
"all subscriptions include full web, mobile, e-Edition and tablet access, with subscription prices varying by market and according to the option chosen, ranging from digital-only subscriptions to seven-day-a-week full access including print home delivery."
This move is a long time coming. A combination of the Internet and a suffering economy has formed a one-two punch that has caused newspaper companies like Gannett to lose a lot of money. When it comes to newspapers, why pay for them when you can read the same articles on the paper's website for free? This move will attempt to solve that problem and it will be interesting to see how it works.
The days of people buying printed newspapers from the kid yelling the major headlines on the corner are over. The Internet has made the world infinitely smaller and has given us an unlimited amount of information and in order to survive, newspapers have to change. That's what they're attempting to do, because after all, it is a business.
I can't argue with Gannett's decision to charge for online content. The current model that most newspapers use, which includes free online content, won't make enough money for the paper to support itself in the long run. Newspapers are important to this country. Sometimes journalists get a bad wrap, but they also keep politicians in check, keep people informed of major local, national and global events and without them, many people would be completely uninformed of what is happening around them. The country is better with newspapers and, in the Internet age, they need to do what they can to survive.
Now that you know my opinion, what do you think about Gannett's decision to charge for online content?