Columbus Dispatch to make more content available to subscribers
The following announcement was sent out from editor Alan D. Miller:
One of our goals in the news business is to provide you with news and information you find so valuable that you’re willing to pay for it, and tens of thousands of readers do.
We thank our subscribers for your loyalty and support through your subscriptions, which are more important than ever in sustaining newsrooms.
In the digital age, some people expect everything to be free, but as one of my fellow editors put it: Free is a lousy business model.
In the early days of online news, because the internet was obsessed with free access, many news organizations gave away valuable news and information. The thought was that advertising around the news would sustain us, but online competition undermined that model.
Free is not sustainable.
You might remember online sites that allowed music lovers to download recordings free. Eventually, copyright enforcement and payment technology caught up with the times, and now we willingly pay for online music, movies and other media. But news organizations have been slower to adapt.
Currently, visitors to Dispatch.com can enjoy five stories a month free. It’s our version of the Great Harvest Bread Co.’s free slice of bread: Take a taste, and you are likely to buy a loaf.
At Dispatch.com, to read more than five stories a month, non-subscribers are asked to subscribe — and many do. Digital subscriptions have grown by 24% in the past year, and we are grateful for that support.
Beginning Monday, Jan. 25, we are taking another important step in supporting our journalism through subscriptions.
Our exclusive reporting, including investigative stories, political commentary, sports analysis, restaurant reviews and other content found only in The Dispatch will be available online to subscribers only. More-routine news coverage and matters of public safety, such as severe weather and crime reports, will be available for all visitors to Dispatch.com until they reach the five-story monthly limit.
Vital updates about the coronavirus will remain free to all as a public service, as we have done for most of the past year.
Our hope is that you view this as not only a natural and necessary step in our evolution as a business in the digital age, but also as an opportunity to invest in local journalism that makes a difference in our community.