Editor Sherry Devlin announced this morning that readers will be allowed to view 20 online news stories per month before the paper will charge for a subscription. The move applies to all Lee papers in Montana and Wyoming, and starts today.
The meter will only be activated when a reader clicks on a news story. Online readers will receive explanations and subscription offers as they approach the page-view threshold; after 20 free stories, they will be asked to subscribe.
Online readers who have a subscription to the print edition of the Missoulian will receive a deep discount on their digital subscription. For full online access, our loyal print subscribers will pay $2 per month. Non-subscribers can purchase full online access for $5 per month.
Initial reaction from the online community was, not surprisingly, negative.
GuyReadingTheNews wrote, "Get real Missoulian. All your doing is losing readers."
Big sage wrote, "Good luck with that. Personally, I will not be using the Missoulian very much in the future...
Robnomonious suggested, "Everyone. Clear your Missoulian cookies, then use a free proxy for unlimited stories on dui and child abuse."
And Bob Kiefer wrote, "Another nail in the coffin of The Missoulian. Why would I pay to read one liberal rag when I can pick up another liberal rag on Thursdays (Independent) for free?"