Canadian newspapers charge fee for online access
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 12:54
FOR readers of four Canadian newspapers, the days of free online access is over.
Struggling publisher Postmedia Network Inc said Tuesday it is installing paywalls on four of its newspapers.
That means readers of the National Post, the company’s flagship newspaper published from Toronto, as well as the Ottawa Citizen, the Vancouver Sun and the Vancouver Province will have to pay a fee under a “metered” system for online access as of Wednesday.
The Post will initially charge only international readers, and print subscribers of all newspapers will still be able to access the content online without paying additional money.
In announcing the move, Sun editor-in-chief Harold Munro said that the media was under increasing economic pressure and the cost of gathering information was rising.
“For readers who want a digital-only subscription, we are pleased to offer an introductory rate of just 99 cents for the first month... Non-subscribers can still read our breaking news online, as well as up to 15 free articles every 30 days,” Munro said in a note to readers.
The rate will go up to $7.95 (RM24.90) per month after the introductory period.
Postmedia’s action follows similar moves by a number of big international newspapers, including the New York Times and the Guardian of London.
Other Canadian newspapers are also expected to follow suit, and the Globe and Mail of Toronto has already announced that it plans to charge its online readers from later this year.
But a mass communications expert pointed out Tuesday that few companies have succeeded with paywalls.
“Those that have, such as the New York Times, tend to be elite papers with national/global upscale readership, and a reputation for the highest quality journalism,” said Prof Vincent Mosco of Queen’s University.
His opinion was published in the university website.