DNR Ducking Behind a Pay Wall

Brent Finnegan -- September 28th, 2009

Unless you have a subscription, get ready to say goodbye to news stories on the DNR website. Saturday the DNR announced their website will be going behind a pay wall. Effective October 1, only subscribers will be able to access their news stories.

According to a story in Saturday’s print edition, on Wednesday or Thursday of this week, the news articles will retreat behind a subscription wall, while the announcements and editorials will remain available to anyone. The PDF-ish e-edition, which they rolled out in December 2007, will be available via email for $5 a month. Stories on their website will be available for $2 a month, or $24 a year.

What does this mean for hburgnews readers? For our part, it means no more links to the DNR so you can read the whole story. In other words, this is a blow to the local link economy, which is what the social web is built on.

There has been no shortage of debate among national media experts over whether pay walls are a good idea or not. In a totally unscientific poll I ran on hbblogs.com, over 70 percent of participants said they were willing to pay “nothing” for news. Only time will tell whether this is a move that saved the paper, a mere failed experiment, or the coup de grâce.

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