Why do we have a paywall on our websites | Editorial

It costs money to collect news.

I am not referring to social media posts, blogs, citizen reports or political propaganda.

I mean the ethical, professional and impartial presentation of the issues that matter to our community.

From journalists’ salaries to printing costs to equipment and software, it takes a lot of money to provide our readers with information they can trust. The way newspapers collect revenue to support these costs has undergone significant changes over the past 20 years, primarily due to citizens’ access to technology.

Beginning in the mid-2010s, newspapers began setting up pay walls on their websites in an effort to increase their income as a result of declining ad sales and paid print readership. Your local newspapers – the Sounder, the Journal and the Weekly – have been very lucky with our loyal print subscriber base. But we’ve been affected by the drop in advertising dollars, especially since COVID-19.

According to an article in the New York Times last year, the Internet has actually “been a godsend for some publications with national audiences. The New York Times has never had as many subscribers or readers – or employed as many journalists – as it does today. The Atlantic, The Washington Post and a few others are also booming. It is at the local level that the digital revolution has been as destructive as feared. Hundreds of local news agencies have folded, as their advertising revenues disappear and the pandemic deepens the crisis. “

We introduced a paywall to our sites in 2020, but we set a pretty high story limit, which meant most of our readers were still getting free content. We have slowly reduced that number and found that our customers are willing to pay to access our sites, whether with a simple digital subscription or a print + online package. In recent weeks, we have limited the number of free stories to one per reader.

You can buy a digital subscription only for $ 5.95 per month. Or, as a print subscriber, you get unlimited online access to our news sites. To access it, you must activate your digital account. On our home page, click “Login” in the upper left corner. Click on “Existing subscriber? Create a connection. Fill in your information and click submit. If you have any issues, such as your account cannot be found, please send an email to [email protected] or call us at 360-376-4500. We will help you get settled.

If you are not a subscriber, we encourage you to subscribe at https://www.islandssounder.com/subscribe/, https://www.sanjuanjournal.com/subscribe/ or https://www.islandsweekly.com / subscribe /. Our paper subscription prices are very reasonable, and by signing up you will receive digital content for free.

According to a Wired article (www.wired.com/story/paywalls-newsletters-and-the-new-echo-chamber/), if paywall sites will attract more consumers and “provide them with a safe haven from free news? vortex ”, newspapers need to better explain why it’s worth it.

“It means educating people about the real cost of producing journalism and the risks if you don’t support it financially. Otherwise, large publications will only serve a minority of the population, small publications will struggle to survive, and people who have become accustomed to free information will continue to seek it out, even if it ends up not really being useful. ‘topicality’, according to the story.

There are consequences of not supporting those who bring you the news. Democracy cannot prosper when its citizens do not have access to legitimate sources of information. Thank you for supporting us and supporting the essential work we do.

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