Sun Media Paywall: Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary And Edmonton Poised To Charge For Content

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Sun Media joins a steady march of Canadian publications looking pass along losses in print advertising to the reader. ALAMY | Alamy

It's another brick in the paywall for Canadian newspapers, as Sun Media announces plans to start charging for its content.

Sun newspapers in Toronto, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary will slip behind the paywall on Dec 4, the Globe and Mail reports.

The newspaper chain joins a steady march of Canadian publications looking to make up for losses in print advertising by charging readers.

Earlier this month, Sun Media slashed some 500 jobs, while closing production sites in Kingston and Ottawa, looking to shave about $45 million from the company's operating costs.

At the time, the move was declared by Paul Morse, head of the Southern Ontario Newsmedia Guild, as a "terrible day for journalism in Canada."

While not all Sun Media content will be metered — breaking news and blogs will remain free — the company's premium content will only be available on a subscription basis.

And yes, that includes the iconic Sunshine Girls.

According to the Poynter Institute, Canadians may have to get used to ponying up to stay informed. With flagging print sales across the industry, Poynter sees all of Canada's major English-language newspapers making the switch.

The Globe and Mail's digital edition made the switch in November — a move that rankled readers unwilling to pay $20 for unlimited access to the website.

The Toronto Star, Canada's highest-circulation daily, also announced plans to meter readers early in the new year, along with Postmedia Network Inc, which publishes the Ottawa Citizen and the Calgary Herald.

“People are furious initially but they often come around,” Suanne Kelman, a professor at the School of Journalism at Ryerson University told Macleans last month.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled Suanne Kelman's name.

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