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A majority of the biggest newspapers in the country now have paywalls

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Several hundred newspapers now have paywalls of some kind, but for the most part, it’s the small and mid-size papers that have been the early adopters. Last year, for example, Gannett put all 80 of its community newspapers’ websites behind metered paywalls, while keeping its flagship paper, USA Today, free online.

But the New York Times‘ ability to attract subscribers in the two years since its paywall went live — combined with the increasingly tough digital advertising market — seems to have caused some of the bigger newspapers to reconsider. In the last year alone, six of the biggest newspapers in the U.S. have announced plans to start charging for their digital editions: the LA Times, Washington PostChicago Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Orange County Register.

As of now, 12 of the top-20 U.S. newspapers (by weekday circulation) have either enacted a paid scheme or plan to do so.

Click the graphic to the left to see which of the biggest newspapers have paywalls.

7 Responses to “A majority of the biggest newspapers in the country now have paywalls”

  1. cas127

    Paywalls for the most part only affect compulsive “page turners” who think their selected (likely legacy) media outlet is the ne plus ultra of all media-dom.

    I wonder who these people are.

    My personal preference (not to mention financial preference) is to get my info from a very wide array of sources, using 21st century tools (some as simple as Google News, for chrissakes).

    Since almost all paywall sites don’t meter linked-in access (only internal page-flipper) I have *never* been unable to get a story I want.


    (Paywalls are really picket-fences – the only people they keep out are apparently poodles – lapdogs of the single source media – ruthlessly exploited financially by the very media outlet to whom they’ve assigned their foolish loyalty).

    (The sites themselves keep their alleged walls porous because they still need hordes of “drive-by” traffic in order to drive unqiues/pageviews and therefore online advertising rates).

    The hole-y paywall era is intellectually and economically nonsensical and therefore unstable in the long run.

    (I wonder if it is even stable *now* – the NYT seems to play it *way* too cute in terms of hiding the specific details of its “paywall success”. Why?)