The Chicago Sun-Times, which famously took down its paywall last October, is asking for readers to help make up the loss of revenue.
“As we head into year two of this funding experiment, the membership revenue we need to do our work hasn’t kept pace with our paywall days,” the Sun-Times says in an email to readers. “In order to continue providing you with the news Chicago relies on — without a paywall limiting how much people can read without paying — we need 3,000 new financial supporters by Oct. 6.”
The Sun-Times eliminated its paywall, which had been instituted in 2018, after being acquired by Chicago Public Media, owner of WBEZ Chicago, the city’s NPR station. This made “every Sun-Times story free for all,” the Sun-Times says in its email.
At that time, the Sun-Times also launched a “digital membership program, making financial support voluntary — and invited you to invest in this big, bold vision for our future. Thousands of you stepped up and answered the call.”
Digital members are helping to support a crime hub, a money desk, coverage of the 2024 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and other journalistic features.
The Sun-Times tells readers, “you will also be doing your part to combat misinformation because, when true local news and information is only accessible to those who pay, false information can spread more easily, putting our communities at risk.”