Sunday, December 26, 2010

Newsday (LI) Drops Paywall Temporarily

On occasion, I think we all check on the news in a place we used to live.

For many years, Long Island's Newsday was, in large part, the primary newspaper for those who lived in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

I grew up reading it .... as did my parents and grandparents.

Newsday has changed hands a few times over the years and some time ago became one of the first major newspapers in the nation to put up a paywall. (IE: If you wanted to read it online, you had to subscribe).

Those of you that have read my stuff know how I feel about monetization via paywalls (except in certain circumstances).  Newsday (and their advertisers) lost this guy's business when the paywall went up a while back ... and it wasn't too difficult to find alternate sources.  In fact, a few entrepreneurs found opportunity and started brand new websites.

This evening, I was curious about how Long Island was doing with the first major snowstorm in a while.  I was also curious if Newsday would drop the paywall during an emergency (for visitors and others?!).

I wandered over to to find the site wide open.

The photos were good.  The copy was (very) current.   Overall the paper looked great ... online.

The official explanation had nothing to do with a pending emergency:

"Enjoy open access to the new until January 7, 2011, courtesy of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular".

Cablevision's News 12 (which still has it's paywall in place) can also be viewed live (and open) via a link at the bottom of the Newsday main page.

I'm writing this piece not only for those that might be interested in the weather (and airport) coverage .... but also because if enough people point to this (Tweet it?), maybe, just maybe, the Cablevision / Newsday Interactive oligopoly might just realize how many pageviews the site is capable of ... without the paywall.

I'm not hopeful considering the past, but for now, if you're stuck on Long Island (all the major New York area airports are closed at this hour) or you're just curious, Newsday and the live feed from News 12 Long Island can be found here.

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