Journal Sentinel to start charging non-subscribers to read content online

Journal Sentinel to start charging non-subscribers to read content online

By WTMJ News Team. CREATED Jan 4, 2012 - UPDATED: Jan 4, 2012

MILWAUKEE- The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is making some changes.  People who don't subscribe to the paper will now have to pay to read some articles online.

If you already have a subscription to the paper, all you have to do is register. If not, the changes could cost you more than a $100 a year.

Social media guru Sonja Whipp visits constantly, telling TODAY'S TMJ4, " least once a day.  Sometimes multiple times a day, especially when I'm looking for content."

Some of that content will cost you. Dubbed "JS everywhere", the subscription service charges anywhere from $2.30 to $2.35 per week.  The new subscription service allows users to view 20 articles online for free each month. But Editor Marty Kaiser told TODAY'S TMJ4 'everywhere' doesn't limit 'everything.'

Kaiser says, "Some people have characterized it as a paywall and 'oh, you can't read JSOnline anymore'. There's plenty you can read on JSOnline without being a subscriber."

While people are still picking up the paper, more and more readers use the web and electronic means to get their headlines.  Editors told TODAY'S TMJ4 charging for access is a necessary step.

"There's a price.  It costs money to produce news and information for the people of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and we get readers around the world," said Marty Kaiser.

The Journal Sentinel is following in the footsteps of major papers like the New York Times, as a way to keep the news flowing and the business alive.

Betsy Brenner of the Journal Sentinel told TODAY'S TMJ4, "they've managed to put a range of options out there that people are really responding to and signing up for and buying."

Sonja Whipp says she's not happy, but she'll most likely cave to the costs saying, "it's a national trend, so I guess I'll just have to accept the changes."

The Journal Sentinel, owned by the parent company of TODAY'S TMJ4, is working to make sure the paper will be here for years and staffers wouldn't say if turning exclusively to the Internet is an option they're considering for the future.