Metro

ProJo establishes pay wall online

By
Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Providence Journal established a pay wall and redesigned its website Tuesday. The website now features breaking news briefs for free and provides full stories only to subscribers through an eEdition of the paper.

Online readers can access the eEdition for free for one month, after which they will be required to purchase a subscription if they do not already subscribe to the daily paper. Subscribers who pay for the weekend edition of the paper but do not have a daily subscription will still be required to pay a small fee for the online edition, according to an Oct. 17 Journal article explaining the new website. The various subscription fees have not yet been determined, according to the article.

“Like other major newspapers across the country, we’ve come to the realization that giving away our content free is not a sound business plan,” said Howard Sutton, publisher, president and chief executive officer of the Journal, in the Journal article.

The website also changed its URL from projo.com to providencejournal.com Tuesday.

According to an April 7 article in The Herald, the Journal’s circulation declined 10 percent in the past year and A. H. Belo — the paper’s parent company — suffered revenue losses of $124.2 million.

It has not been decided whether the University Library will be able to provide a subscription to the eEdition of the paper, said Edwin Quist, associate University librarian for research and outreach services.

Though the University subscribes to the Journal and subscribers receive free access to the eEdition, publications tend to treat institutions differently than they do individuals, Quist said.

The New York Times, which erected a pay wall in March, has not yet made institutional subscriptions possible, and Quist said it is unclear whether the Journal will offer them.

“My guess is that they haven’t even considered it yet,” he said. “But they might have looked at the New York Times situation and done a better job.”

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