It appears that Rupert Murdoch has been making good on his promises this week. A Massachusetts newspaper owned by his Dow Jones Local Media Group has begun charging readers for online news, News & Tech reports.
This comes after the announcement that News International will block aggregator NewsNow from all its websites. Murdoch has previously accused news aggregators of theft.
The Standard-Times of New Bedford, Massachusetts, this week started charging readers a fee to access articles from its website SouthCoastToday.com. Users are still able to access 10 articles a month for free, after which only a short excerpt is displayed with a prompt to log in or subscribe. Rates vary, up to $3.56 for new subscribers.
Some articles will remain free, including weather reports and national and international news. But local news, obituaries and archives will be available by subscription only.
Publisher Mary Harrington said that the newspaper had taken "tough steps" in its quest for efficiency. "Now we have carefully crafted a plan that allows everyone to continue to sample our content either as a visitor or a registered member," she wrote in a publisher's note. "Our loyal print subscribers can gain full access under a free trial and on renewal opt to continue that access for a small incremental fee."
Will readers pay for online news? The industry is waiting to find out. It works for the Financial Times, but is local news a different story?
Source: News & Tech