Gannett is going to start charging for people to read the online version of their 80 local newspapers. That includes the Asbury Park Press, Courier News, Courier-Post, Home News Tribune, Daily Record, and The Daily Journal.
It’s not bad enough they’ve gutted their local reporting, removing any non-bleeding news from New Jersey’s communities of less than 50,000 residents. Or that they’ve essentially merged the editorial boards of papers with each other. Or shrunk the papers by more than half of what they used to be.
No, now they are going to start charging money for us to read their ad-laden websites where it takes multiple clicks through ad-laden pages to get to the ad-laden story you might want to read. It’s not like the articles are that well-written or informative to start with
I can’t imagine this is going to do anything but erode their reader base the way their home-subscriber base has eroded. I mean, if they aren’t going to report on my home-town unless there is scandal or murder, why would I pay extra money to read it?
The result will be less money from advertisements, more staff reductions, and the decimation of most of New Jersey’s newspapers.
It’s time for a new model to grow.