Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Pixel money at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is moving to a paid online subscription service. JS Everywhere will cost a stiff $2.35 per week, or you can subscribe to the print edition (ink, paper, that sort of thing). Just subscribing to the Sunday edition costs $2.30 each week and you still get JS Everywhere.

Unless you subscribe to JS Everywhere you will be limited to 20 articles per month. However, according the JS Online FAQ regarding JS Everywhere, there are a few holes in the paywall:

Q. What if I don’t want to subscribe? Can I still read JSOnline.com?

You will be able to read up to 20 articles every month, along with the JSOnline home page, section pages, all videos, Tap, NewsWatch, NOW, Lake Country Reporter, death notices, classified ads, Car Soup and House & Home. Photo galleries count as one article, regardless of the number of photos. This limited access resets each month. But we hope you’ll want to read more than 20 articles each month and your print or digital subscription provides convenient, easy 24-hour access – so you can browse and read freely without running into the monthly limit.

Q. Can I access JSOnline.com through Twitter or Facebook?

Yes, on a limited basis. If you enter JSOnline.com through a link on Facebook or Twitter, you may read that single article and it will not count against the monthly limit of 20 articles.

Just in case you forget about their paywall system, they have a convenient, annoying way of reminding you.

Q. If I have not registered or subscribed how will I know when I’m reaching my monthly limit?

You will receive a pop-up alert notifying you when you have 15 articles remaining, when you have five articles remaining and again when you have reached the limit of 20 articles per month. At that point, you will have the opportunity to subscribe and register.

Sounds like the system was designed by the Paperboy in Better Off Dead.

So what are the options? As Owen Robinson points out, it would be tough for most political/news bloggers to not get the daily newspaper after their 20 articles runs out, no matter how much original content they pump out. Even non-bloggers can hit 20 articles pretty quickly in a month.

There is still Patch.com of course, and other local newspapers. I’m spending more and more of my time combing through the Wisconsin State Journal.

If you’re a Waukesha County resident like me, The Waukesha Freeman subscription rate (for the electronic edition only) is just $6.95 per month. As a bonus you get me in your newspaper every Thursday.

You could subscribe to the Sunday edition of the Journal Sentinel, pull out the coupons, and then recycle it. If you use the coupons in a newspaper, you will actually come out ahead. That also applies to the Waukesha Freeman.

Or you can subscribe to the daily edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for only $6.99 per month through Amazon Kindle. The best part about Kindle is that you don’t even need to own a Kindle to read Kindle products. That, and if you click the link I get a small kickback.

Of course, if newspapers really want us to subscribe to the beyond-the-paywall service, they could throw in access to the newspaper’s electronic archives.

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