UPDATE: Four Postmedia newspapers — Vancouver Sun, the Province, the National Post and the Ottawa Citizen — will all begin charging for online content by end of day today.
Inevitable, intolerable, or just plain necessary?
The Vancouver Sun and the Province, the city's most prominent daily papers, have announced that they will put up paywalls for access to their online content starting today.
The Sun and the Province are among the first Vancouver papers to charge paywalls next to the Globe and Mail, which announced a pay-per-view model in May.
Sun editor-in-chief Harold Munro announced the news on his paper's website, telling readers that "rising economic pressures and the rising cost of gathering information" have made the move necessary."
"This new 'metered' system will help generate revenue to invest in the insightful, award-winning print and digital journalism expected from the biggest and best news team in Western Canada," he wrote. "We remain committed to investigative reporting and working to ensure transparency from governments and public agencies."
The paywall works like this: print subscribers get free access to vancouversun.com, theprovince.com and the papers' mobile apps. Once a subscriber registers online, they can get the digital content from anywhere.
Any non-subscribers wishing to get online subscriptions to the Sun or the Province will have to pay 99 cents for the first 30 days as an introductory rate, which will net you unlimited access to the websites and their apps. It will then cost $7.95 for every 30 days thereafter.
The news comes months after Paul Godfrey, CEO of the Sun's parent company Postmedia, announced that the Vancouver Sun and the Ottawa Citizen would install paywalls on their websites amidst news of falling revenues at the media company, the Globe and Mail reported.
Postmedia has already installed metered systems at properties including the Montreal Gazette and the Victoria Times-Colonist (which it sold).