It’s been a month since the Honolulu Star-Advertiser starting charging people to view its premium online content.
And I’m curious to know how it’s doing.
Back when I first blogged about it, an overwhelming number of you said you won’t pay for online news, especially if you knew other ways to get it for free.
Now a month into the pay wall, I wonder how many of you caved and signed up for a subscription — and how many of you still don’t feel like you need it.
I thought I would sign up immediately to get access to the site. But it turns out I get the same news from TV stations and other websites. The only reasons I log on the Star-Advertiser’s website are to read breaking news and blogs — and both of those are free.
It’s still upsetting to think that newspapers are dying, as I’m a diehard supporter and believer of the print. (Yes, despite my overwhelming presence online and in social media circles.) I still think the best reporting is done by newspapers — and it’s sad to think those days are nearly over.
Curious: has anyone felt any difference in the way they get news now that the only newspaper in town is charging to view its content?
Living abroad, I refuse to pay for access, it just means that I won’t be able to keep up with favorites like “by request” and “weekly eater” as well as other stuff, which is sad
You pay less, though, than residents, right?
I didn’t look into it because I wasn’t gonna pay…but I have a feeling it is the same price no matter where you live.
nope. i dont think its right.imo. its wasnt great writing,reporting,and journalism in the first place, and now a fee?….no way. Getting local news,which is the main purpose of a “local newspaper”, shouldnt be at such a high fee.
in answer to your last question, i wont even go to the site at all because i’m so upset. What i’m wondering is how many people that have paid the fees are saying—->”i paid for this, yuck.??!!” and…has the writing or investigative journalism greatly improved since the high fee? Is the content so riveting now that people are saying….”wow.that was a great article.totally changed my life. worth every cent.!?” just wondering.
Well, like Kat (above) said, there are some things you can’t get without a subscription — including Lee Cataluna’s column and Stephen Tsai’s football coverage. (Though his blog is free for viewing.) So I guess it depends on if there’s something specific you want to read.
Well, first, I downloaded the app on the iPad a month or so ago. It was indeed pretty slick! I felt like I was browsing an actual newspaper more so than you do on a regular news reader app. I gave it an “A” on that front.
The graphic design was as nice as I remember the paper being also. This is one area that the Star Bulletin always kicked the Advertiser’s ass at, was graphical design, IMO.
However… after the initial 5 days free, I found myself not going to it as much. I think I got tired of panning around; and while I initially thought I would indeed purchase a trial subscription, I decided against it.
As for the “medium” of paper vs. digital, I’m afraid paper is a dinosaur. The proof is in the pudding. They can’t compete. I think you’re feeling a bit of nostalgia from being part of the trade in the past Cat, whereas those of us who left the paper years ago as consumers don’t really see it as something that is missing in today’s “in with the new, out with the old” society.
I currently use Zite and AOL Editions as my daily news readers. Both of them have a local feeds section for Honolulu where I simply go to that section, and get all the local news I need. By the way, I much prefer AOL Editions to Zite. I think they struck a perfect balance between achieving a magazine feel, yet still has a digital edge to it.
Have you tried out AOL Editions yet Cat?
I am nostalgic! It’s so sad!!
But you’re right, the medium is dying. There’s no arguing that. But I’m worried news is going to get diluted and stripped down just to fit 140 characters in Twitter or the size of your smartphone. Sad, indeed.
Graphics — Star-Bulletin always had us beat 🙂
I don’t get my news from Twitter though, and I think that’s a good point from you. That’s why I like the news reader apps made for the iPad like Editions and Zite. I tried pulse, but not into an icon only driven front page.
Oh, I did fail to mention while I preferred the SB’s graphics, I most certainly felt the Advertiser had them beat on content!
There is no way I would ever pay for access to ‘premium content’ as it can be found for free elsewhere. Please don’t misinterpret, I think they do a good job over there.
I know what you mean. It comes down to the idea that people believe information online should be free. It’s hard to convince folks otherwise.
For me, it isn’t even a matter of getting the same or similar content for free. I just won’t pay for anything on-line. It is just so ephemeral. Now, if someone wanted to pay me huge sums for my own words on-line, I might change my thinking. No one is offering, so I am going with no-pay-for-information for the indefinite future. I would rather do without.
Exactly what I just typed above. People don’t want to — or think they should — pay for information online. That’s the fundamental problem with charging for content. I think some sites do it because they’re targeting a specific audience. (Case in point: Civil Beat.) But I’m not sure it’s going to work with mass media outlets like newspaper.
I hope I’m wrong, though! I’d hate to see another newspaper go out of business.
The only reason I go on that site now are the blogs; Braddah Lance is back! The rest of the news I can watch on TV or go onthat web-site. That’s one reason I stopped going on ESPN Sports; there are certain articles on there that you need a subscription in order to read. I’ll pass…
@jaydee … Braddah Lance is back?!! …
I saw that!
ESPN charges now? Interesting. I wonder how that’s going…
Cat, it’s the same thing ESPN has been doing for over ten years. They only charge for a niche part of the site called “Insider.” I subscribed once, and felt it lacking.
Hello Cat, I get it fo free, I would neva pay….
I don’t know whether I’m the only one but I’m disappointed with the newspaper – there used to be a lot of local news but lately after the first two pages of the front section, it’s all national news. Especially the Sunday paper I think I go through it in 10 minutes – may end my subscription if it wasn’t for the ads.
You get it for free? At work?
Fortunately my parents are old school, they want the print edition, so we have free access to the online version. Yes, print seems very obsolete, many times don’t even have time to read it in the morning because we ares so busy.
Sometimes I will log on to the website if I see an article that I didn’t get to read in the morning. But a lot of times I just look at the headlines or breaking news. Just don’t have time!
I have become more accustomed to reading short clips of information, probably from Twitter!
Twitter is changing how we all get our news, for sure! News in 140 characters — we live in a crazy world!
Hey Cat: … like you, I only read the breaking news and the blogs … and yeah, if I notice other news that interests me, I find it somewhere else …
… I dunno, I kinda like print media … I tend to read a newspaper or magazine more completely from front cover to back, even browsing most of the ads … online, I’ll be way more selective in the articles I click on … and forget about online ads … I tend to think they’re all phishing scams anyway …
… I still think print media can play a vital role in this modern society … albeit, a much smaller role …
… hey, I don’t think I’ll ever buy news online … but I still buy the Sunday paper …
Why do you buy the Sunday paper? (You’re not alone.) We used to get it just for the Longs ad!
Sadly, I buy the Sunday paper mostly out of habit … I always have and I continue to do so … whether I need it or not …
… yeah, the Longs ad is one of the first I go through … and Best Buy too … Best Buy’s ad is online too … but I don’t think our local Longs has an online version of its ad … CVS has …
I like reading the local sports so since the UH won this weekend, I picked up the Sunday paper and what did I read? Just the sports section about the UH and that was it. Didn’t even read the funnies…
The rest of the paper didn’t have enough stuff to keep me interested. Maybe I’ll go someplace so see if they have a copy of the paper lying around.
WOW! It sounds like I am the only one that caved! Granted since my CC bills on the mainland it is only $10 per year. The papers killed themselves by diving in without considering the consequences. If nobody is willing to pay for content then what pays for the cost to gather, produce and store the news?
Storage is my main concern. Without newspapers where will the bits of history not deemed important enough to be included (perpetually) in educational materials be stored/archived?
Alan, digital storage is much safer than paper archives. They can be duplicated many times over on many servers around the world. Papers (before the digital age) were stored on Microfiche, and even that has a shelf life. Plus, papers deteriorate.
For posterity’s sake, nothing beats digital, IMO.
vinyl records do. imo. hehe
I’m dissapointed that Kokua Line is premium content but I’ll not pay for that or the few other things that subscribing provides. I think that the subscribing policy sucks and that is really not a way to expand subscriber base or raise revenue. Probably will have the opposite effect.
They need to find a good ad model, and make the online edition free.
I miss reading Kokua Line and Ocean watch, but all the rest is from the AP wire, i get that from my local papers
In some ways my user experience has decreased. the having to log in thing annoys me as i have to re-log in every time i navigate there…even if i logged in like 5 minutes before hand, or it says i was logged in from my last visit.
We are weekend subscribers due to my husband’s need to keep updated on local sports, so we get access to the site as well. I rarely read it, though. It seems like everytime I do, I’m reminded why I was never a fan in the first place. Usually some important bit of info is left out or the writing is loopy or the story is one-sided. I’d be happy to pay a reasonable fee for a quality read, like the WSJ or NYT, but not for what’s available locally unfortunately.
https://hawaii.alltop.com/ is a good site to peruse multiple local news headlines/sites.
One of my pet peeves with Star-Advertiser was their very vague/ridiculous “news” releases under the byline of “Star-Advertiser
Staff”, many of which should never have been released, it was so incomplete and “un-news worthy”.
There are a few columnists who I miss, especially sportswriters, but it looks like the hand-writing is on the wall on their future. It won’t be long….
Mahalo for sharing the link to Alltop. If anyone has any suggested links to add please let me know. As for the topic, I do not pay for the online content, however read the SA through shared copies at work and Tutu’s home. I wish them all the best.
If you’re looking for the top Hawaii stories of the day (not sports or crime), you should check out allhawaiinews.com, winner of the Society of Professional Journalist’s top solo news blog in the state, and also named one of the best state politics blogs by Stateside Associates.
i include the ledes from the top Star-Advertiser and Civil Beat stories, so you can at least see what they’re up to, even if the paywall stops you. The TV stations, independents and Neighbor island papers are there too.
Works on the smartphones too.