'Newsday' Pay Wall Debuts Today -- With Most Stories Behind It

By: Joe Strupp As promised, Newsday launched its new pay wall site today, which only allows full access for print subscribers of the newspaper and customers of its Cablevision sibling, Optimum Online.

The site is clearly doing its best to make sure online readers know what they are missing. As revealed last week, all stories, photos and video are accessible only to subscribers. Others get a headline and brief summary. But any further information requires a log-in and password. Non-subscribers to Optimum Online or the print edition can pay $5 per week.

With the first game of the World Series set for tonight between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies, a Game One preview was among the top stories. But unless you had access, you got only a paragraph introduction. Those clicking for more were brought to the special World Series page, but with just faint, tantalizing, images of the videos, stories and photos they were missing and a large reminder that access was just a subscription payment away.

Other top stories requiring money included off-duty cop shootings, a county executive taxes debate, and even Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Walt Handelsman's work.

Of course, all users have free access to classifieds, entertainment listings, weather and obituaries. For death notice fans, the recent loss of Soupy Sales remains the top story, albeit an Associated Press version. The entertainment section, however, does not seem to include entertainment stories among the freebies, with a review of the new Michael Jackson documentary, "This Is It," requiring paid access.

Some of the free summaries present stories with almost a cliffhanger-like ending if you do not subscribe. An article about a gas station attendant thwarting a robbery detailed the events up to this sentence: "The rifle-toting suspect banged on the door and ..."

Yes, pay up to see the rest.


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