June 18, 2011

ProJo.com Edges Towards Subscription Territory

Monique Chartier

On Thursday, for a third day in a row, the day's on-line newspaper had not appeared until 8:00 am (versus midnight or earlier, which had been the norm). In response to my inquiry, the ProJo sent me the following.

Newspaper content is now available on projo.com at 8:00 am each day of publication. To read newspaper content prior to 8:00 am, you can subscribe to The Providence Journal with the convenience of home delivery. Home delivery is by 6am Monday-Friday and by 8am on weekends.

In general, the site is not intended to be an online version of the newspaper. There is newspaper content you cannot get on projo.com and projo.com content you cannot get in the newspaper. The news areas of the Web site are updated continuously, including braking news and sports. Some other features are updated less frequently.

Coming soon, subscribers will be able to access an exact digital replica of the daily and Sunday Providence Journal through our eEdition. More information on this new product will be available soon!

The urge to stop here and kvetch for a moment is irresistable. I, a peruser solely of the on-line Providence Journal who would be impacted by these changes, had to learn of them by asking. But subscribers of the dead tree version, who receive the paper paper and would, therefore, not be materially impacted by this change or even necessarily notice it, were informed of it a while ago (so a subscriber tells me). Hasn't the ProJo targeted the wrong potential customer base? Or perhaps the real hammer drops on us electronic non-customers when the upcoming "eEdition" turns out to have a subscription barrier 24/7, not just early in the morning.

Adding to the confusion, this message

Note to readers:

Due to technical difficulties over the weekend, some Providence Journal newspaper stories did not publish on projo.com. That issue is being addressed, and all content will be published on the site.

has been on the main Opinion page for months. Okay, so today's paper hasn't appeared on line yet this morning "due to technical difficulties"???

Mixed messaging asite, democratic (small "d") government is healthier and more accountable in the presence of a robust, inquisitive press. It is in everyone's best interest that the Providence Journal and other information outlets, traditional and not (ahem), find secure financial footing for their operations. Accordingly, I wish the ProJo nothing but the best as they roll out this new approach.

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I have noticed that the Economist has gone for half a loaf. You can read 10 stories a week, without subscription (prescription?)

Posted by: Warrington Faust at June 18, 2011 5:49 PM

What's "braking news?"

Posted by: michael at June 18, 2011 5:53 PM


Posted by: Monique at June 18, 2011 6:42 PM

News that stops?

Posted by: Patrick at June 18, 2011 8:01 PM


Posted by: Monique at June 18, 2011 9:14 PM
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