Sun-Sentinel to Start Charging For News Content Online

Categories: Media Watch
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The Sun-Sentinel is erecting a pay wall on April 9, so expect a mass exodus of readers who don't want to pony up five bucks a month for mostly routine local news.

The once proud Fort Lauderdale-based daily is following the lead of other Tribune Co. owned newspapers like the Los Angeles Times, which instituted a pay wall in March. However, the only way readers might pay for articles is if the Sun-Sentinel starts churning out a lot more original enterprise pieces like the newspaper's recent three-part series on how police officers from various law enforcement agencies are horrendous drivers, some even killing other motorists while largely going unpunished.

Even then, it seems unlikely Sun-Sentinel readers would fork over $60 a year for news they can get for free from hundreds of other media sources. If big newspaper company executives believe the success of the New York Times and its pay wall means other major dailies around the country can do the same, they are sadly mistaken. They see the Gray Lady recently announcing it has picked up 454,000 paid subscribers to the New York Times web-site digital products, and think they can do it too.

USA Today's publisher, Gannett Co. Inc., will be expanding its online pay walls from six test markets to all 80 of the company's small-market newspapers by the end of this year. Gannett is limiting free access to five to 15 stories a month. Miami Herald parent McClatchy Co. began experimenting with a pay wall last year, allowing customers of The Modesto Bee to read up to 20 stories at no charge. After that subscribers are asked to pay $5 per month or $50 a year for access. McClatchy has not announced if and when the Herald is going to erect a pay wall.

The Tribune Co. is planning to limit the number of free articles on the Sun-Sentinel as well. But as the South Florida Daily Blog recently noted, the Sun-Sentinel is not the New York Times, and certainly not even on par with its sister publication in Los Angeles.

Besides there is always a way around a pay wall as discovered by Miami New Times sister newspaper L.A. Weekly.

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10 comments
JJ
JJ

Helpful Hint - all Sun Sentinel content still available for free at southflorida.sunsentinel.com. Your welcome, Ira fans...

Me
Me

I used up my free articles, but that's fine with me.  Having to wait a month makes it pretty likely that there will actually be mostly new content.  There is no way I am going to pay to see a page filled with ads and largely populated with content up to a week old.  

Ken
Ken

Ridiculous! I used to check the Sun-Sentinel site several times a day to check up on local news. No more! I will be reading Palm Beach Post instead.

TonyB
TonyB

2 words - "private browsing".

Yongfang
Yongfang

My hometown newspaper (Memphis Commercial Appeal) started this paywall s**t about six months ago. It is annoying because I live in China and so am unable most of the time to read up on things happening back in my hometown, nor do I have the means to pay the fee. If I still lived in Memphis, I would not bother. Like this article stated, there are many other news sites to go to.

The print newspapers made their monies through advertisements. Why can't the online version do the same?

Payton_vege
Payton_vege

Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

Contabilitate
Contabilitate

News on this platform have fot always balanced and fair, making it very serious.

seep
seep

They're about to ruin one of the best Miami Heat blogs in the universe.  Winderman gets close to a thousand comments a day.  Good discussions (no Delonte jokes).

michael wind
michael wind

now they be calling you at home and harass you to get this non important publication..

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