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January 11, 2012

Slovakia, Slovenia Put up News Pay Walls
By Oliver VanDervoort
Contributing Writer

One truth that most of the major media hubs have had to adjust to in the 21st century is that people are not getting their information the same way they used to get it. The newspaper industry in particular has had a hard time adjusting to a citizenry that goes online to get their news far more often than popping the paper open. It doesn’t help that tablet computers have made the need to get a paper copy of their local “rag” even less vital. There are even some companies that have launched open warfare on newspapers. Newscorp launched a “newspaper” for the iPad called “The Daily” that was clearly aimed at getting your daily news without having to go out to the porch to fetch a waterlogged copy of the morning paper.

This turn of events has forced traditional news sites to change the way they carry themselves in the digital age. The New York Times was one of the first newspapers that started charging for a variety of information. Other papers in the United States have fallen suit with some offering a mixture of free content and other sections that are located behind a paywall. Most recently, that trend has been spreading outside the United States. Slovenia and Slovakia appear to be the two latest eastern bloc countries that have news organizations looking for a new form of revenue. 

Back in May, Slovak newspapers and other news organizations decided to offer their content only after their customers paid a premium. The news organizations are actually all bundled together and will offer unlimited access if subscribers are willing to pay $3.71 per month. The Slovak Piano Media company is behind this particular decision and they say that it was indeed a good one. 

Piano says that the move in Slovakia was in fact so well received that Slovenia will be following suit come January 16. The major paywall will go up on a trial basis on that day and will encompass eight of the country’s major news organizations including the biggest paper, known as the Delo. Slovenians will need to pay euro4.89 ($6.25) a month in order to access the information.

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Edited by Rich Steeves


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