Two other GCI papers are due to adopt a similar model, Democrat Executive Editor Bob Gabordi told a reader in a comment on his blog; he did not identify those papers, and did not provide a timetable, however. A reader told me last week that The Spectrum in St. George, Utah, may be one of the other papers.
The Democrat's new options:
- Web content (digital-only model): For $9.95 per month, readers can subscribe to Tallahassee.com, NoleSports.com, RattlerNews.com and the full suite of Tallahassee.com affiliated websites.
- Single copy and day passes: Copies of the printed Tallahassee Democrat will continue to be sold in vending machines and through local retail outlets. Readers can also get a 24-hour pass on Democrat websites for $2 per day.
- Full-media content/electronic delivery (digital and e-edition): For $14.95 per month, readers get all the websites and the e-edition replica version of the Tallahassee Democrat.
In a note signed by Gabordi and Publisher Patrick Dorsey, the paper says: "In recent years, some have openly wondered if the type of journalism that has sustained democracy since the American Revolution can survive. We have innovated in how we deliver news, but have operated under an old business model for how we pay for that journalism."
Their note continues: "Today, we are announcing an historic change in how we do business, becoming one of the first community news outlets to take decisive steps toward protecting the journalism so vital to the social and economic well being of our community, now and long into the future."
Readers generally don't like changes, so it's not surprising that most of the more than 125 comments posted on the announcement so far oppose the new subscription model.
For example, reader PuppetPerson wrote at 7:49 a.m.: "You've GOT to provide a lot more than you currently do in order for this to be viable at all. Did you even ask your customers? I doubt many people would pay half that amount when so much is available for free. ESPECIALLY since as a paying customer, we'd still get bombarded with advertising crap -- I thought the advertising was what kept the content free! I don't want to pay and still end up with browser crashes from pop-ups that my pop-up blocker doesn't block!"
Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.
[Image: today's paper, Newseum]