Print Edition Only – Internet Access Denied

On the front page of the Rockford Register-Star is an article about home foreclosures which the paper says cannot be accessed on the internet.

A couple of weeks ago I popped for a $1 Rockford Register-Star for a “print edition only” article about the Winnebago County Board’s having dropped IMRF pensions for its part-time members.
I couldn’t tell from the paper whether this was a one-time effort to sell papers on the news stand and keep subscribers or a continuing one.

I was back in Belvidere the beginning of last week and have concluded the approach is a method being used to keep people reading the paper.

You can see Monday "print exclusive" articles about a fire union contract and the police chief having been on the job five years.

Will this develop into a trend among newspapers?

I wondered last time how the Rockford paper would have enough good stories to put in the paper, but not on its web site.

Here’s one about home prices from Monday:

This features a three-bedroom, two-story home bought fof $24,000 in Rockford.

The Business Section even has paper-exclusive stories. This one could have been elsewhere. It talks about public employees who were hired during the eight months after the pension reform bill creating a lower level of pensions, but before the law took effect.

Recent governmental hirings who got the higher pension benefits, even though the reform bill had been publicized.

The detail is fascinating:

Even the seven legislators elected last fall and 68 newly-elected and appointed judges got into the old, more lucrative pension systems.

One problem I see with this approach is that people may not know what they are missing.

To see what the Register-Star is doing about that, I went to its web site and found the following promotion of an article to be in Wednesday’s paper:

The obvious question is whether the Northwest Herald and Daily Herald will follow Rockford’s example and, if they do, what will happen to circulation.


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