Archives for posts with tag: paywalls

Are we entitled to information? Katy Bergen says so. The following is from the advanced reporting blog, and I wanted to share it here:

I, Katy Bergen, as a member of Generation Y, Generation Millenial, Generation Next (Call it what you will) have grown up with the idea that I am entitled to information. This entitlement began at birth and will cease when I die. It exists because I exist and because I exist in America.

This is the generation that has taken “public information” to a whole new level, blurred the lines between the personal and the public and changed communication (and is pegged to continue to change it). Our list of entitlement can get rather long, but after all we’ve created a world where we are:

  • entitled to your relationship status, your political views, photo montages of your life.
  • entitled to see what our History of Jackson classmate is tweeting. Or Anderson Cooper. Or Taylor Swift.
  • entitled to go to a library and not be denied any form of information that we wish to possess.
  • entitled to create our own website or blog, to share information we deem important.
  • entitled to the free flow of information, formerly known as journalism. It is free because it is important, because, ideally, it is the truth and because information is power that long ago our country decided everyone should embody. Journalism doesn’t single out people who are avidly interested in the news or the people that can afford its price. It doesn’t shut out the half-interested, the infrequent visitor, the fair-weather fan. It doesn’t shut out my swim club teammate who would never pay $96 to read the newspaper. Or the household that would, but can’t afford it anyway.

I don’t see a world where people pay to read their news on a computer. I don’t think my generation would stand for that.

Our story about the Columbia Daily Tribune’s plan to erect a paywall has about 2,200 page views as of this writing. Under the story, we’ve got several dozen comments from people expressing their intention to bring their conversation to the Missourian’s website, since the Trib’s comment boards will now be open only to paid subscribers.

Jake Sherlock piped into the conversation with this:


There’s nothing more exciting for me than to see so many new names contributing to the conversation here. A big welcome to everyone who said they’re coming here from the Trib. We hope you’ll enjoy the community here as much as you did at the Trib.

We do ask that you comment under your real name when you post here. We will occasionally email readers to verify that they are posting under their real names. We do this because we believe in openness and transparency. If you’re not comfortable saying something publicly, drop us an email at and let us know about your news tips, opinions and other matters that way. We won’t publish the contents of those emails in any way, shape or form under your name without your permission.

We look forward to reading your comments and contributing to the conversation.

Jake Sherlock
Opinion editor

Interactive copy editors and news editors, take Jake’s cue. Two important things happened there. One, we welcomed our new commenters with open arms. Two, we made clear our policy for using real names. We’ll probably have to be hypervigilant for a few weeks as folks used to commenting pseudonymously at the Trib migrate over to try us out. We want to encourage the new blood and fresh perspectives. But we also want to maintain the standards that we think help to elevate the conversation, even if it has the side effect of limiting it. Those of you helping us monitor the comments should consider this a call to arms to do both of those things, in as welcoming and personable a way as you can muster.

If you read an earlier version, I completely misunderstood Chuck on Friday. He was NOT referring to a paid phone app; it was a pay site. Thus the whole premise of the post was wrong. Thus the embarrassment on my face. Thus the rewrite below:

Chuck Finder visited on Friday as part of the Missourian’s board of directors meeting. Chuck, a longtime sports editor and reporter, described an interesting variation of pay sites at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Chuck says the PG+ “started out with way too many things: politics, op-eds, features, radio-TV-movie stuff — and videos of all of the above, too. but they scaled it back to only sports.”

The underlying promise to those who purchase $3.99-monthly subscriptions to the “pay site” is that they will get the news, live updates and analyses first.

For instance, our Steelers writer on Sunday posted injuries on the pay site first. At Pirates games, we post the daily lineup and clubhouse/pregame news on one thread, do a live blog during the game, then immediately post the breaking-news story and follow it after midnight with a minor-league farm team roundup and what we call Morning Links — a game/theme wrap-up with links to all that days Pirates stories on our site, plus any other relative/Pirates-pertinent stories we found elsewhere on Google News searches. Yeah, we spoil our dang Pirates readers, but after 18 consecutive losing seasons someone has to!

Sports writers can and do post directly to the site, and there are live chats between readers and writers. There are blogs from users as well.

You can see the site — the newspaper offers 10 free views. Check it out.

Chuck asks: Is it worth considering for the Missourian? A paid Vox entertainment site?