The world of print journalism has been changing for decades and many publications have felt a financial squeeze due to the popularity of other platforms.
No longer can the internet take sole blame for the decline of print – apps such as Facebook and Twitter have become vehicles for breaking news and even websites are feeling the squeeze.
That's why it comes as no surprise that the Las Vegas Sun, one of the city's best publications, will now charge readers for their content.
The Las Vegas Sun issued the following statement regarding the changes.
Like so many other media companies, we have made this decision to help defray the enormous costs of generating the editorial content you love to read, and which we are proud to provide to you.
Our award-winning website, lasvegassun.com, will continue to offer readers a lot of free content. However, there will be a cap on the number of stories you can read before being asked to subscribe. Currently, that cap is 10 stories per month, which has become the de facto standard in the industry.
The casual website reader won't be hit hard by the change. Breaking news is spread across many local outlets and the 10 articles will allow them to read the editorial pieces they enjoy. It's the people who enjoy weekly columns, local sports coverage and community articles that will have to make a tough decision.
The Las Vegas Sun is aware of that and explained why they were forced to make the change.
Why are we taking this step? Two main reasons.
First, producing quality editorial content is a very expensive proposition, and providing it entirely for free on the web has proven to be difficult to sustain for most newspaper companies. Ours is no exception.
Second, and the most important reason for this decision, requires a little explanation.
A major source of our newsroom funding has dried up.
Much like subscription-based apps Netflix and Hulu, The Las Vegas Sun will allow readers to pay a monthly flat price to view their content without restriction.
The basic subscription, which allows unfettered access to all our content, is $8.99 per month. The second is a premium membership for $15.99 per month. That one offers subscribers access to special quarterly newsroom events where you can meet with our editors and reporters, access to special events as well as mailed copies of Las Vegas Weekly or The Sunday to your home.
The question becomes whether readers will add another monthly bill to their budgets for the ability to read articles? When information and trending stories are so readily available online, it'll be hard to convince locals to pay for the stories they may see elsewhere.
For the sake of print media, let's all hope this new initiative works.