Owner Gannett had not formally announced the move, and a spokesperson told Poynter the offer is a test. But the import was clear: The previously free is site is instituting a paywall.
In fact, Poynter reported receiving an email offering “full access to a COVID-19 database and the rest of USA Today’s coverage of the pandemic (at the same $4.99 a month rate),” Poynter writes.
USA Today explained the move in an FAQ:
“Select stories are not available without a subscription because they are part of USA Today’s premium experience.”
“Articles and videos elevated as premium represent the best of USA Today’s must-read journalism, anchored in original reporting with visual impact. We invest in this journalism on your behalf.”
If USA Today proceeds, it will be joining a parade of news sources to charge for content.
For instance, Sports Illustrated recently announced it would start charging readers $7.99 per month to access content at its website: SI.com.Reuters has unveiled a paid subscription website in an effort to woo business professionals. The price is $34.99 per month.