This is a trend that we’ve noticed at GillespieHall. Our local newspaper, The News Journal, is one of 80 Gannett papers with new pay walls for its online content, designed to help offset revenue declines. Pay walls block viewers from reading a story online unless they have a subscription to the publication.
Lately, when we’ve visited delawareonline.com and clicked a link to read an article by one of the many talented writers on staff, the screen fades to black as the story pops up and this message appears:
The News Journal isn’t alone. The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Dallas Morning News and Baltimore Sun all have implemented pay walls, limiting the number of free stories that online readers can see each month.
There are ways around pay walls. The News Journal is allowing full access to online stories from links in social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. In addition, you can cut and paste the headline from a story into a Google search box and access the online story through Google.
But will this push people to other news sites, and just make the declining revenue problem even worse?
Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.