Washington Post expands digital access to local papers

The Post announced that it was offering its digital news "free as an added value for their subscribers". The move comes nearly a year after the Post began a "paywall" charging those without a print subscription who view its content online, and six mo
The Post announced that it was offering its digital news "free as an added value for their subscribers". The move comes nearly a year after the Post began a "paywall" charging those without a print subscription who view its content online, and six months after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought the daily. -- BH FILE PHOTO: ZAINAL YAHYA

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Washington Post said on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, it would offer free digital access to its news offerings to subscribers of six newspapers in other parts of the United States.

The Post announced that it was offering its digital news "free as an added value for their subscribers". The move comes nearly a year after the Post began a "paywall" charging those without a print subscription who view its content online, and six months after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought the daily.

The Post said partner newspapers with a premium subscription model "can give their readers access to high-quality, trusted reporting across The Post's desktop and mobile web sites and phone and tablet apps".

Participating newspapers will include the Dallas Morning News in Texas; Honolulu Star-Advertiser in Hawaii; Toledo Blade in Ohio; Minneapolis Star Tribune in Minnesota; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in Pennsylvania; and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in Wisconsin.

"The Post has long been a source for groundbreaking national journalism," said Washington Post president Stephen Hills.

"This programme is a way for us to work with newspapers and other print and digital partners around the country to both add value to their subscriptions and expose The Post to a wider audience than ever before."

Under Mr Bezos, the Post is privately held and does not release financial data. But its results before the sale showed the news operations losing money.

The Post had been one of few remaining major US newspapers to offer its content free of charge online, but it has been facing financial struggles along with the rest of the industry.

In the paywall system, Post readers are able to view 20 articles or features per month before being asked to subscribe at prices starting at around US$10 (S$12.60) a month.