Johnston Press has dropped the paywalls being trialled at some of its local newspaper websites following a low take up among readers,HoldtheFrontPage reveals today.
The company had set a £5 subscription for anyone wanting to read stories in full on some of its local newspaper websites, including those of the Whitby Gazette. HTFP says the paywall at the Gazette has now been dropped with full stories now freely available again to users. The paywall plan got widespread publicity when launched but Johnston Press has told HTFP it will be making no public comment about the trial and has even refused to confirm that it is coming to an end.
However a source at one of the titles involved in the trial said it had been a "disaster" and that the number of people subscribing had been in single figures.
I am a freelance journalist based in the UK and was deputy editor of Press Gazette, the journalists' magazine, from 1993 until 2006. I want to give an independent view on media matters.
You can contact me with stories, ideas and comments by email at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also follow me on Twitter @jonslattery