The Journal-Inquirer announced today that starting tomorrow, they will be charging non-subscribers to access news content on their site.
“As with most newspapers,” JI Publisher Elizabeth S. Ellis said today, “advertising on our Internet site has not yet begun to pay anything close to the expense of providing the news to our readers, even as providing the news on the Internet for free threatens to erode the paid circulation that does support the paper. “Some newspapers in Connecticut have drastically reduced their local and state news reporting,” the publisher said. “The JI will not do this. Newspapers are crucial to community. Without newspaper reporting, impartial and comprehensive, communities disintegrate. But news gathering costs money, and those costs have to be recovered.”
I do completely understand why they’re making this move, and I applaud the JI’s commitment to local news. I rely heavily on that paper to find out what’s happening in Enfield.
However, I worry that an online subscription model will drive readers away from the JI’s website, and the end result will be something like the Chronicle in Willimantic.
What’s that? You didn’t know there was a newspaper called the Chronicle in Willimantic? …Well, maybe that’s part of the reason why.
I look forward to seeing how the JI institutes pricing, but I’m a little nervous.