Today, the Ventura County Star announced that it is going digital subscription only – limited articles will be available for limited times. In doing so, it joined the LA Times, Orange County Register, San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Boston Herald, the Nashville Tennessean, and numerous others in erecting a pay wall.
This is a trend I emphatically do not like. One of the strengths of the Internet is being able to get news from a variety of sources; to read what is happening in local communities; to discover the human side across the world. Paywalls prevent that from happening.
Sure, one could subscribe to each paper individually. That would be very expensive (which is why I only subscribe to the Los Angeles Times). I would be very happy if someone created a business opportunity out of this that allowed one to subscribe to a selected set of paywall papers — 5, 10, 15, all — for a reasonable fixed fee per month. But having to subscribe to each paper individually for a digital product is prohibitive.