My local paper, The Record, is taking down their pay wall starting this Wednesday, and allowing people to read the paper online for free. Now that search engines can see them they can finally become relevant, and I can link to them.
Publisher Fred Kuntz had this to say:
Why are we opening up our website? It’s because growth in The Record’s readership and circulation gives us confidence that our printed newspaper will continue to thrive, even as the Internet grows.
When the Internet first blossomed, some newspapers feared that migration of readers to the Internet might erode their audience, and therefore advertising revenues — but the opposite is happening, especially here where we live.
Surprisingly, research shows that people who read news online are even more likely to be newspaper subscribers. Many people use all types of media, including newspapers, magazines, radio, television, the Internet.
This makes them more aware of current events, more engaged in community affairs and, therefore, better citizens,
Or course he also points out that the money doesn’t hurt:
Not only is newspaper readership growing in Waterloo Region, but more businesses are putting their marketing dollars into advertising on the Internet. The Record’s website has among the highest traffic in the region, and we’d like to continue to make it even more popular.
Each month, our website at TheRecord.com has more than 90,000 unique visitors and more than 2 million page views.
I’ve been trying to convince them for two years to take down their pay wall. Just imagine how ecstatic they’ll be when they start to appear in Google and people from all over the world start to hit the site.