Ashvegas.com blogger Jason Sandford recently blasted the Citizen-Times for its paywall, temporarily dropped during last week’s snowstorm. His comments have stirred up a storm of their own.
The hypocrisy of the decision is telling. By its actions, the newspaper leadership is saying is that if its news and coverage is important, it should be free. But when it’s not, you should pay. Come again? Shouldn’t the policy be that if the newspaper’s online content is good enough, essential enough, to charge for it, then the newspaper should always charge for it? If I were a paying online customer, I’d be ticked.
Some agreed with Sandford:
“Thanks for calling it as you see it, Jason. As a way to get out of not delivering the paper today they give you a free digital? USA Today — is USA yesterday — anything in there I read yesterday on line! Just more paper to line your bird cage!”
Others were critical of Sanford, who was laid off by the Citizen-Times last year. Gannett Corp. owns the Citizen-Times.
One comment was aimed back at Sanford: “My perception is that you intentionally set him (editor Josh Awtry) up in order to grind your ‘Gannett Ax.’ “
“Honestly, Jason, I’m starting to feel like any article that you write on the ACT should include a brief disclaimer,” another said.
Media Watcher said: “Why should the Citizen-Times give any of its content away for free, even emergency information? It’s a for-profit company that has to pay its employees and its shareholders. Emergency information is available on (free) television and radio.“