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Lodinews.com shifts to ‘metered content’

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Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 12:00 am

Dear Lodinews.com reader:

On Monday, April 29, we began a new way of offering news on Lodinews.com. It’s called “metered content.”

  • Occasional readers of Lodinews.com won’t notice the change.
  • If you are a Lodi News-Sentinel subscriber, there will be no charge for accessing Lodinews.com.
  • Those who don’t subscribe to the paper and who read lots of news at Lodinews.com will be asked to subscribe.

The price of an online subscription will be the same as a newspaper delivered to a Lodi home. Current News-Sentinel subscribers will get free access to all online content. But if you are a newspaper subscriber you’ll have to go through the hassle of registering.

We started Lodinews.com with free access in 1998. Back then we thought we’d save enough in reduced delivery costs that free access would work.

Sadly, it did not.

Increased competition and computerized information services have driven down the price of advertising.

But computers don’t cover the news. Journalists do. As long as journalism is a profession, it can’t be free.

Our access policy will insure a gentle transition from free to pay. It’s called “metered content,” because we’ll count the number of local stories readers access. Anyone can read up to ten stories a month hassle-free. Readers who look at more than ten stories will be asked to register. If they register but don’t subscribe, they will receive ten more free stories — 20 per month. The heaviest users will reach the subscription page and have to pay.

As we launch this new policy, editor Rich Hanner’s news room is progressing toward a 24-hour news cycle. There will be more frequent updates and weekend news than ever before on Lodinews.com. The natural advantages of our website will continue — blogs, videos and story search. Ads and content contributed from people in the community is not metered and will remain free.

And it’s all delivered to your smart phone, tablet or desktop computer, wherever you go.

Thank you for reading Lodinews.com and supporting the staff of the Lodi News-Sentinel where we’ve been “connecting you to your community” since 1881.


Marty Weybret, publisher

Lodi News-Sentinel and Lodinews.com

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Robert Jacobs posted at 7:15 am on Fri, May 3, 2013.

    Robert Jacobs Posts: 298

    That isn't completely true....

  • Simon Birch posted at 3:12 pm on Sun, Apr 28, 2013.

    Simon Birch - Online Manager Posts: 170 Staff

    Sunny: I'm curious how many Lodi stories written by our staff you are currently seeing on News360.

  • Ted Lauchland posted at 1:43 pm on Sun, Apr 28, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    For thirty-three cents a copy you guys are something else.

    Guess I won't have the opportunity to read any of your writings on this blog anymore. Neigh sayers don't change. Too bad.

    Lodi Lake decided to charge an entrance fee to help in part to keep a positive atmosphere in a unique setting. A little investment on one's part promotes different attitudes on just about everything.

    Businesses need to make dollars to stay alive. Freebee chasers ultimately pay the price down the road and wish they had thought differently when it counted. But then again opinions are opinions. I enjoy what the LNS has to offer - Weybret opinions and all . This has included yours . This is only a transitional step. You don't think your own words are worth anything? Maybe they aren't. Time can be worthless for those who work on commission. Hourly wages are a bonus for a privileged few.

    Have a nice day

  • Lawrence Steinberg posted at 6:56 pm on Sat, Apr 27, 2013.

    Lawrence Steinberg Posts: 65

    Kind of a bummer for those of us who live outside the area and rely on the LNS for our news regarding ye olde home town.

    While I enjoy the occasional article, I am not quite sure I want to become a financial supporter of the Weybret editorial agenda.


  • Sunny Samuels posted at 7:48 pm on Wed, Apr 24, 2013.

    Sunny Samuels Posts: 61

    So no one has heard of News360? They have a website and apps for your smartphone, tablets or Nook/Kindle. I can access and read all news no matter what publication it is from no matter whether it is something you have to have a subscription for or not like Stockton Record, Sacramento Bee, New York Times, Wall Street Journal etc. All free. It's my favorite goto news source and usually the first thing I check while having my morning coffee.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 5:23 pm on Wed, Apr 24, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Looks like the wine money is getting tight for ol' Marty? Nice to hear from you Layla. Too bad you were intelligent enough to dodge the ol' Sentinel bullet, with their good ol' boys and feel good articles now being replaced by the latest gossip from Galt and still avoiding the real local issues of corruption from the likes of the three amigos, who let the DLBP steal nine months of dues to pay their own salaries, IMO.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 5:05 pm on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2109

    I know what you are saying. When I was in the paper a few years ago for my 4-wheel bike, it went from a local article with the LNS all the way around the world to Japan. It was fun for the next few months, tracking the news reports as it spread. My Aunt in Michigan even saw a bit about me on the Today show.

  • Layla Bohm posted at 4:53 pm on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Layla Posts: 9

    I've always found it amusing when people get mad about such charges and post comments saying, "I don't get my news from the mainstream media, anyway." If you look at non "mainstream media," they just get their news from the "mainstream media," then put their own spin on it. It's like TV stations: They get at least 75 percent of their news from local newspapers (and they even call reporters to ask them for phone numbers of their sources).

  • John Sheckles posted at 4:41 pm on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    JohnSheckles Posts: 1

    It is true, I like reading a news story from time to time. We do live in the Lodi area, and get on this site from time to time. I also used to read news over at the Stockton Record. When they started charging I moved on. We do not, and will not pay to read news online. We also do not pay for the newspaper to be tossed into the mud puddles at the house.

    I am now registered, so if I read correctly, I get 20 reads per month, when things get updated (some WAY new on the weekends). When I run out of reads, I will be back the following month.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 3:51 pm on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2109

    Thanks for both responses.

    One of the ways around the Facebook spammers and other offensive links is to make it a closed group where only members can post. I've been moderating a group like that for a while and haven't had any issues. A few members got out of hand and they were removed. But no outsiders posting offensive materials.

  • Simon Birch posted at 3:21 pm on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Simon Birch - Online Manager Posts: 170 Staff

    We had a discussion board many years ago where readers could start their own topics and we took a hands-off approach. It became a worse cesspool than unmoderated comments, a haven for spammers and the occasional link to porn sites. It didn't end well. Despite that experience, I'm not opposed to looking into doing something like you suggest.

  • Simon Birch posted at 3:13 pm on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Simon Birch - Online Manager Posts: 170 Staff

    No, letters to the editor will remain free (that is, they will not count toward the meter).
    It is 20 different stories. You can return to the same story as many times as you want (to comment, for example) and it will only count once.

  • Robert Jacobs posted at 2:50 pm on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Robert Jacobs Posts: 298

    This is funny! I remember when the Stockton Record started charging for on-line content. I haven't been to their site since then, about three years ago...

    This article states: "But computers don’t cover the news. Journalists do. As long as journalism is a profession, it can’t be free."

    The above is a laughable.... First, there is no real Journalists in the main stream media anymore. They all dies 50 years ago. Secondly, to get to the truth in this day and age, one must read countless pages of news to weed out the bias.

    Thirdly, the lame stream media (The Sentential) not only don't report the real truth. They consistently give law enforcement preferential treatment, Wall Street, and the United States Government!

    Wall Street when they literally stole billions from the American taxpayer by illegal practices!

    The Unites States government under former President Bush broke numerous U.S. laws, tortured people, denied human rights, broke Geneva Conventions, etc...

    And not one word from the main stream media such as The Sentential.

    So if you people down there keep thinking someone is going to pay you for this BS, and to read your status quo of arrogant, lying and immoral behavior you got another thing coming!

    All anyone of you people in the main stream media have to do, is tell the complete unbiased truth and you would have more people than you knew what to do with!

    But you won't do this, because you are a depraved people....

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 2:37 pm on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2109

    Sorry, one more follow up comment/question:

    Have y'all thought about adding a community board to the on-line offering? Somewhere where the "stay on topic" expectation is non existent. Or maybe starting a Lodi news Facebook group where members can be a little more free to take tangents off the topic. Might even be able to tie in a FB feature like business of the week which gets the top wallpaper slot as a form of advertising for them on the page.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 2:33 pm on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2109

    Are letters to the editor going to count as "stories"? [smile]

    A follow up question: Is it twenty DIFFERENT stories or is visiting the same two stories ten times each count? I'm thinking of those of us who comment a lot on the same stories/LTE's?

  • Christine Stevenson posted at 11:38 am on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    CHS Posts: 2

    I won't be paying for online news...........you just lost another reader

  • Josh Morgan posted at 9:40 am on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 542

    I am very conflicted by this decision but I'm sure Marty has put a great deal of time and thought into this decision as it will have a long term impact. To my knowledge all of the papers in the surrounding areas have gone to a similar format. I know for certain the Record and Sacramento Bee have done so and I suspect the Modesto Bee has done so as well. I will continue to support the local newspaper as long as it is in print. I agree with Mr. Scott that the LNS should concentrate on local news. I thought it was interesting that the Boston Globe lifted their subscription requirement for the week after the bombing but as of today have gone back to the subscription requirement. I am thankful that we still have a local newspaper and as a community we should continue to support it.

  • Jackson Scott posted at 8:27 am on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Jackson Scott Posts: 392

    JK- the valley is not looking good for the recovery. I just saw a report that lists our "Big 5" areas are in the nations bottom ten: Sac, Stkn, Modesto, Fresno, & Bako. Hopefully San Joaquin county can get some overflow from the bay area which is doing much better.

  • Jackson Scott posted at 8:24 am on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Jackson Scott Posts: 392

    Let's be honest- nobody reads the LNS for national news or sports.

    Lodi is still a small town and the LNS' bread & butter will always be the local news. Seriously, there is rarely any "breaking" news stories of great importance so I would not be surprised to see the print edition become less frequent (M-W-F-Sat?) with the shift to online news. Hello, it is 2013!

    Take today's print paper for instance, half of the articles are over 24 hours old and could have been read online on Sunday or Monday.

    I do hope that there are some vast improvements to the LNS website with this change.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 7:43 am on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Well, I certainly can’t say I’m at all surprised; it was simply a matter of time. When the News-Sentinel did away with Monday editions – thereby rendering this “daily” newspaper to anything but - it was clear that things weren’t going well with our home-town newspaper. But now this!?! I fear that maybe the next move will be to publish only on Friday where we’ll get a recap of all the week’s local news, columns and letters-to-the-editor while still charging the same rate for both delivery and online access. Regardless, until its doors close for good I will still subscribe to our little home-town “rag.”

    I know that the News-Sentinel isn’t the only newspaper hit hard by not only the ongoing recession (I wonder when we’ll actually start recovering from that) but with the easy access to ALL news (local, national and world) through all of our “smart” devices, it’s simply a matter of time when newsprint will go the way of the venerable Linotype.

    As a young boy I learned how to set type in a stick and tried hard to never pie the type. The smell of rubber-based ink and the sounds of letter presses, the old Heidelberg and even the (then) brand-new offset Chief 22 and A.B. D*ick 360 (sorry for the asterisk, but the online censor wouldn’t let this word pass; (too bad for those who try to use their nickname for "Richard") are now just wonderful memories for me. Farewell news”papers”! It was fun while it lasted!

  • Brett Thompson posted at 6:40 am on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Brett Thompson Posts: 55

    Well, just the like the Stockton Record and the Sacramento Bee, I will no longer be visiting your website. Good luck with selling advertising on it.

    I know other major newspapers had tried this and then reverted back to free content. Hopefully you all will see the error in your decision and change it back soon.

  • Goldy Randhawa posted at 5:39 am on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    GSingh2293 Posts: 1

    Well good luck with that because I will no longer be reading anymore.

  • David Diskin posted at 1:30 am on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 185

    How about a rate for those of us who don't want the printed edition?



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