Seattle Times to charge for online access

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by KING 5 News and Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on February 24, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 25 at 5:39 PM

SEATTLE  -- The Seattle Times will start charging for online access beginning next month.

Executive Editor David Boardman says the paper simply can't afford to keep giving away full access to its website. In a column Sunday, he noted that since The New York Times put up a paywall two years ago, more than 400 daily newspapers across the country have followed suit.

The digital subscription will be free for readers who already have The Seattle Times delivered at least one day a week, and the paper is offering new subscribers an introductory offer of 99 cents per week for Sunday delivery and unlimited online access.

Online-only subscriptions will also be available.

People who don't subscribe at all will still have some access to www.seattletimes.com, but if they visit too many times, they'll be required to pay.

Many loyal readers seemed understand of the newspaper's need for additional income.

"I'm a print subscriber to the Times and have been forever, and you know what?  A community needs a local newspaper.  We need a printed paper, and if this is the only way to keep it in town, that's the way it has to be," said Deborah Lewis.

Some people felt the price for the paywall is a bit steep, at 99 cents a week for four weeks, and then $3.99 a week after that.

"I mean, if they want to charge, I get that they have a revenue stream they have to meet, but for me, I'll just get it someplace else," said Priscilla Peterson.

The Seattle Times plans to implement the change in mid-March.

Editor's note: The Seattle Times is a news partner of KING 5 News

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