Washington Post to Begin Charging for Online News
Frequent users of The Post's website will be charged a monthly fee beginning this summer.
The Washington Post has decided to follow other newspapers in limiting free online content and will begin charging frequent users of its website beginning this summer, the paper announced Monday.
The company has not decided how much it will charge.
“News consumers are savvy; they understand the high cost of a top-quality news gathering operation and the importance of maintaining the kind of in-depth reporting for which The Post is known,” Katharine Weymouth, publisher of The Post, said in an article the paper ran in its business section Monday. “Our digital package is a valuable one, and we are going to ask our readers to pay for it and help support our news gathering as they have done for many years with the print edition.”
The paper reported that it would exempt parts of its audience from having to pay the fees. Home-delivery subscribers will have free access to all of The Post’s digital products, and students, teachers, school administrators, government employees and military personnel will have unlimited access to the website while in their schools and workplaces, the paper said.
Access to The Post’s home page, section front pages and classified ads will not be limited.
“We are obviously looking at paywalls of every type. But the reason we haven’t adopted one yet is that we haven’t found one that actually adds to profits,” Graham said at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in December, according to The Post. “But we are going to continue to study every model of paywall and think about that, as well as think about keeping it free.”
Graham said at the December conference that a paywall could drive away some of the paper’s digital audience, and thus push away advertisers and cost the paper “a very significant amount of digital advertising.”
According to the Post article Monday, Weymouth said, “We really are a 24/7 publisher of news. To separate our print from our online subscription models doesn’t make sense anymore. We’ve watched our peers in the industry, and we think the metered model is the best way to keep our reach while asking our readers to help pay for the quality journalism we are known for.”