06 June 2012

The Register Builds a Wall

The fact the the Des Moines Register has instituted a pay-wall is something that I find totally hilarious.  Their website has long been a example of how-not to build a news site.  Pop-up ads.  Constantly asking for age/sex info.  Ridiculously cluttered pages.  Advertisements are often the focal point of a page.  A search tool that is pretty much useless.  Archives that are unreachable.  A site structure that would baffle most people.  And that is without getting into the low current journalism standards of the once mighty and respected paper.  The initiation of the pay-wall (another disappointing move by parent corporation Gannett) just coincidentally was rolled out at the same time as the unveiling of the Nancy Sebring stories, their marquee scoop of the year. 
I do understand that news agencies are struggling financially with the increasingly digitally-based consumption model.  They probably should have started charging years ago.  And if the journalism was worth it, I would definitely consider paying for it.  I subscribed to the NY Times for a year or so because I thought that the content was worth it. Anyways, the idea that I would pay $10 a month to read their stories online is laughable.  It may actually lead to me reading the physical paper copy more now, I actually don't mind its layout nearly as much. 

1 comment:

  1. O World Herald struggling with same issues. As an outsider I imagine a print media exec got saddled with the web design project and then... well you can see the results. OWH frustratingly creaky just as described. also decided to go w/pay option. although you get 10 or so free-bees each month. Tracking software is horribly inefficient though.