Central Missouri Newspaper to Charge For Online Access

By: E&P Staff

Janese Silvey | Columbia Daily Tribune

The Tribune will start charging readers next month for unlimited access to its website.

Under a so-called metered model, website visitors will be able to read up to 10 local stories per month for free. Those wanting to read more will have to purchase an online subscription or buy individual stories. Also, only online subscribers will be able to comment on stories.

It’s a business model Andy Waters, vice president for interactive media at the Tribune, says just makes sense.

“This is a business decision for us, a way to come up with a sustainable business model so we can keep doing high-quality journalism,” he said. “It’s much more of a balanced approach to our operation.”

Right now, advertisers and the Tribune‘s 20,000-some print subscribers pay for not only the publication itself but also for the editing and reporting staff that provide the content. Online advertising helps offset the cost to offer that content online but not enough to justify giving the product away for free, Waters said. “We came to a realization free online access is hurting us,” he said.

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