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A good discussion of paywall options

Free, or paywall, or some creative hybrid? That’s the dilemma all Texas newspapers are looking at. And one of the most frequent requests we get at the Center is for information to help publishers think through their options. And there’s certainly no lack of articles on this topic, and we’ve recommended a number of them. Here’s a good one from one of our favorite blogs, Allen Mutter’s Reflections of a Newsosaur. Mutter starts out with the one undeniable reality — readers don’t like paywalls and they look elsewhere when a newspaper puts one up. Mutter goes on to talk about three different approaches to paywalls now being tried: metered sites, hybrid sites, and one you probably haven’t heard of — dueling sites. It’s a good overview that should help focus your thinking as you discuss the paywall issue in your newsroom.

By Kathryn Jones Malone

Kathryn Jones Malone is co-director of the Texas Center for Community Journalism. She began her career as a staff writer at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, then worked as a staff writer for the Dallas Times Herald and The Dallas Morning News; as a contract writer for The New York Times; as a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly magazine; as editor of the Glen Rose Reporter; and as a freelance writer for numerous state, regional and national magazines. She teaches journalism at Tarleton State University.