In some markets, electronic replicas may replace free news sites
A different version of this article appeared in the Online Journalism Review. Here’s the version on the OJR site.
In the sprawling terrain of eastern Washington, the era of free local news on the Web is drawing to a close.
The Spokane Spokesman-Review, long known for its innovative new media operation, plans to launch a digital edition this summer in tandem with closing off large portions of its Web site to non-subscribers.
“Simply put, we’re tired of giving away today’s news for free,” says Shaun Higgins, the paper’s director of marketing. “We can’t afford free riders on our service. Otherwise, we’ll have to stop paying our staff.”