In the mid-90s, at least 45 U.S. newspapers charged for online access, though almost all of them later hopped over the fence to the free side. Now, the paywall brigade is rising again — albeit slowly. On the eve of this year’s American Society of News Editors conference, where the question of charging for digital content will be center stage, we’ve assembled a list of the local and metro papers in the U.S. that have paywalls. We found more than 20 that charge online readers up to $35 a month, in an attempt either to preserve their print circulation or to add a new stream of revenue. They range from major metros like Newsday to sub-20,000 circulation papers in small northeast towns that have charged online readers for years.
And this list is about to get longer. At least six other papers have announced they will put up some sort of online paywall in the coming months. How these papers do financially with their new paywalls will determine, in part, whether hundreds of other papers decide to take the same step. As a result, we’ll be updating this list periodically with new entrants and checking with these papers to see how they’re faring. We aimed for comprehensiveness, but our list is certainly missing papers that have paywalls and is missing some details too — so please help us out and send us the names of others that aren’t here, via the comments at the end of this story, and we’ll update. Click on the thumbnail below to see the full chart.