Washington Post said to add paywall for online news

Following suit with other national newspapers, the struggling D.C. paper is said to be looking for additional revenue streams.

It's looking like one of the last vestiges to provide free online national news may be coming to a close. Joining its other paywall comrades, the Washington Post is said to start charging for its online content in 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Inside sources told the Journal that the details are still being ironed out, but most likely the D.C. paper will start charging a subscription fee by next summer.

It's no secret that the newspaper industry is in dire straights. Several papers, like the Rocky Mountain News, have gone belly up and many print editions, like U.S. News and World Report and Newsweek , have gone digital only. The Washington Post is no exception. According to the Wall Street Journal, the paper had a 14 percent decline in revenue and an operating loss of $56.3 million the first nine months of this year.

Several other national newspapers have already introduced paywalls. The New York Times started charging $35 every four weeks for full digital access in 2011, and the Wall Street Journal's Web site always had a paywall.

The Washington Post has long held out on charging for its online content. The chairman of the paper, Don Graham, has been vocal about his desire to keep the news free. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, Graham hinted at an investor conference earlier this week about the possibility of adding a paywall to the site.

"We are obviously looking at paywalls of every type," Graham said, according to the Journal. "But the reason we haven't adopted them yet is that we haven't found one that actually adds profits immediately. But we're going to continue to study every model of paywall and think about that, as well as thinking about keeping it free."

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About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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