The Free Lance-Star will soon begin charging regular readers visiting its website, Fredericksburg.com, according to an announcement Monday.
In order to help the news organization stay locally owned and operated, Cadwallender said the online sites will now include a "meter" to "track how many pages an individual user hits."
"Our more frequent users will eventually reach a subscription page that asks them to buy a subscription to read more stories," Cadwallender said. "We offer options that include a print subscription or that are only for digital access," he said.
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No numbers were given for how many pages viewed would activate the paywall. Currently, digital access to the paper is $15 a month and a home subscription is $17 a month.
As advertising revenue and circulation continue to shrink, newspapers large and small have been adopting paywalls to pull new revenue from regular online readers.
Bloomberg News noted in a December article that digital subscriptions at The New York Times in 2012 helped drive subscriber revenue above advertising revenue, reportedly for the first time.
Dan Kennedy, assistant professor at Northeastern University’s School of Journalism and a long time media critic, said clumsy paywall adoptions can hurt online news. "Newspapers are all missing the mark in digital," he told NetNewsCheck.
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