Newspapers rethink paywalls as digital efforts sputter

WASHINGTON: Paywalls were supposed to help rescue newspapers from the crisis of sinking print circulation as readers shifted to getting their news online.

But with a few exceptions, they have failed to deliver much relief, prompting some news organizations to rethink their digital strategies.

Newspapers in the English-speaking world ended paywalls some 69 times through May 2015, including 41 temporary and 28 permanent drops, according to a study by University of Southern California researchers.

Related: Torstar cuts 52 jobs, drastically reducing tablet edition staff

Mind you the Star is a bag of shit, so that’s a big reason for declining readership. Read this story on Nadia Shoufani, the teacher suspended for praising the Pallie murderers of children, the Star would have you believe she is under investigation for merely attending an “anti-Israel” rally.

The end of comment sections was a bad move by newspapers as well, I rarely spend much time on Canadian media in general any longer, virtually no time at all on papers that have ended comments.

  • My Nom Nom! 😉

    • Heh;) Smart cat;)

      • john700

        During the last 18 months all the major newspapers in Canada somehow stopped allowing comments:

        Torstar – ended comments completely;
        Torsun – ended comments completely;

        National Post – switch from Disqus to Facebook, by that forcing people to create a Facebook account in order to comment and ending anonimity.

        The Globe and Mail has a way to allow comments but with concerns regarding anonimity.

        Please keep comments through Disqus.

        • Slickfoot

          I refuse to use Zuckerbook.

        • Justin St.Denis

          I won’t touch FaceBook with a ten-foot bargepole.

    • Clink9

      Appalachia … Love driving through there…. Even better on a

    • Waffle

      “Have you ever been down Kentucky-way
      Say south of Prestonburg. . .”

      I only spent one night in Kentucky in a motel just outside Elizabethtown. My unforgettable takeway, (and this was back in ’93!!) was that Kentucky has the best-looking men in the whole world. Good looking cats, too.

  • simus1

    They missed the boat by not officially changing the name to
    “Red Star – Crescent & Swastika” and insisting it was now a
    hip stabby parody enjoyed by all the cool people.

    • marty_p

      My wife and I love reading the Star – every morning, at breakfast, we play “Count the Mo’s” i.e. how many articles praising Islam or Mo’s or photo’s of hijab clad women today?
      The only thing in the Star I find remotely having any redeeming value is the Wheels section on a Saturday morning.

    • DMB
  • The news media is getting a lesson in real free enterprise.

    1) Real news please.
    2) Leave out the PC bias.
    3) Forget pay-walls.
    4) Display adds OK – aggressive adds not.
    5) Comments on stories a must.

    Otherwise I’m off to some other site.

    • Editor

      This. Numbers 1 and 2. 100%! It’s not the medium, it’s the message.

    • vimy

      I would be willing to be forced to watch or view one add for every ten stories I read.

  • robins111

    I’d sooner be boiled in liquid shit than pay for access to the likes of the Red Star

    • Justin St.Denis

      Be careful. Expressions of strong sentiment probably catalyze some RCMP operative to unglue his ass from the overpriced chair it’s seated in.

  • Daviddowntown

    The end of comment sections was a bad move by newspapers as well, I rarely spend much time on Canadian media in general any longer, virtually no time at all on papers that have ended comments.


    • dance…dancetotheradio

      The story is in the comments even if we don’t like what some other people have to say.

  • ismiselemeas

    The problem wasn’t the comment sections per se but the debasement of them by semi literate political pundits who turned them into screaming matches. It’s impossible to express an opinion here without some partisan twit jumping all over it or ignorant conspiracy theorists hijacking the thread.

    • Waffle

      You are so right, but they weren’t political pundits — they were paid trolls, hired by ? — the unions, the LIbs, — take your pick — to destroy the Conservative vote. They even advertised for writers on sites like Craigslist.

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        Paid trolls are an invention exclusive to the left.
        Conservatives don’t need to get paid to express an opinion.

    • Justin St.Denis

      While annoying, it is not a reason to mirror SJW outrage, tactics etc.

  • John

    virtually no time at all on papers that have ended comments.

    Same here. And I refuse to pay for online access. There are just too many news sources around these days.

  • The Butterfly

    Paywalls don’t work 99% of the time.

    Newspaper sites without comments (or even worse, Facebook comments) are just in the business of P.C. propaganda.

  • Hard Little Machine

    There’s always another source. Moreover sites that block adblockers can all sizzle and fry in hell too.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    There is a simple solution. Put out content that appeals to readers instead of insulting our intelligence.

    • Justin St.Denis

      Norm, you really ARE in New York! Canadian publishers are notoriously underhanded, crooked, biased and MONUMENTALLY STOOPID.

      Your proposal would be viewed as “extreme” and “off the charts”, and they would probably call the “men in white coats” to carry you off to somewhere – anywhere! – else!

      You’ve no idea how allergic Canadian businesses are to innovation of ANY kind. I have been paid handsomely by foreign sources to bring modernity to numerous Canadian business sectors. The wall of resistance which Canadians put up against anything new/different/improved is quite legendary. That’s why Canadian business is little more than a laughing stock in most other countries.

  • tom_billesley

    I take some print newspapers. I don’t pay for them, I “upcycle” them from a neighbor’s recycling bin to put under the cat litter tray to catch overshoot.

  • canminuteman

    The great thing about the interwebz is that it is interactive. The comments are usually way more intelligent and way more enlightening than the content, at least on good sites. Take away the comments and there is little reason to read the content.

    • Justin St.Denis

      So true.

  • Justin St.Denis

    Nobody needs Canadian media-crity. They’ve already got their hands full of Canadian mediocrity.

    Sunny Ways, indeed!

  • Ed

    Liberal newspapers increasingly disable on-line comments, because the reactions of real people to their attempts to peddle the “narrative” are undercut by the vigorous blowback. So they think they’ll be more influential if comments are disabled, and the comments are usually the most interesting thing.

  • Mr_bigstuff

    When comments were disabled it was just another example of the further erosion of free speech in this once proud country – As many others have stated when the majority of comments disagreed with the PC stance of the story/article the lefties heads exploded – Bye bye free speech – I too will never pay for online access to ANY paper –

  • Sometimes the digital strategies fail to deliver for certain utilities and products, for certain group of people. Still people prefer reading newspaper than online, prefer buying books than reading on kindle. Even a newly opened business opt for flyers, brochures and banners to promote their business over digital promotion.