Six Hearst Connecticut daily newspapers are launching a paywall this week.
Digital and print subscribers to the Connecticut Post, New Haven Register, Danbury News-Times, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time and Norwalk Hour can get access to the papers’ “premium local news coverage, including investigative and enterprise reporting and analysis, features and columnists, on a newly designed, easier to read website,” Matt DeRienzo, vice president of news and digital content at Hearst Connecticut Media Group, announced.
The papers are offering an “Insider” experience, “an unprecedented invitation into the process our newsrooms use to decide which local issues, problems and opportunities to cover.” Subscribers will receive a daily email newsletter with a guide to the papers’ journalism and a behind-the-scenes look at decision-making. They’ll have access to reporters, columnists and experts through live chats and a subscribers-only Facebook group, along with invitations to monthly in-person coffees with the editors, the announcement said.
Story commenting on both the free and premium portions of the papers’ websites will be open to subscribers only, and reporters and editors will participate with readers in that forum.
For readers who already subscribe to the print edition or e-edition of the newspaper, the Insider digital subscription will be available at no extra cost. A digital subscription to one of the six Connecticut daily newspapers provides access to all.
The announcement addresses this question: Why start charging when readers have been able to consume local news coverage for free online? “A significant investment goes into employing the reporters, photographers and editors who cover local schools and government, breaking news and crime, local sports, business and state issues,” the announcement says.