The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester is hardening its paywall. Currently you can access seven stories a month before you are asked to pay. Now the T&G, as well as other Gannett papers, is going to remove “investigative stories, political commentary, sports analysis and other content found only on telegram.com.” More routine stories and public-safety coverage will remain within the seven-story allotment.
Look, I get it. But what I don’t like about this is that there are those of us who might need to download two or three stories a year from various papers around the country. Last year, I actually took out a subscription to an out-of-state paper for a month — and then had to call several times so I could cancel it after the reporting project I was working on was done.
I’ve long thought papers ought to be flexible enough to charge for $1 an article or to sell day passes to people for whom a monthly digital subscription doesn’t make sense. But I’ve been told it’s not cost-effective, as it would be difficult to set up and could take away from subscription sales.
I also hope that whatever extra money the company pulls in will be used for journalism and not to service Gannett’s massive debt.