The Tennessean's Paywall Arrives



The Tennessean's paywall is slowly slipping into place. On Thursday morning I got a message saying I would only be allowed 20 stories per month. When I checked it later, I saw I was being kept to a "limited" number.

I'm curious to see how this works out. The Tennessean, for all the razzing we give it, has never suffered from bad writing, but from bad management. And yet it seems continually to be the writers who suffer for upper management's sins. A city needs a healthy daily newspaper. Look at the Saints panicking over the Times-Picayune going to three days a week. They realize that without daily coverage of the team, they're losing a tremendous publicity outlet. The same is true with Nashville, though probably even moreso, since we have football, hockey, and our entertainment industry.

The Tennessean needs to find a way to be viable. I don't begrudge them that. But the paywall solution? I don't know. Like I said, I'm curious to see how it works out. I feel like I read a lot of New York Times articles, for instance, and I've never come close to hitting the upper limit of free in a given month. When the legislature isn't in session, I'm not sure I'm going to hit 20 a month on The Tennessean.

Plus, the New York Times firewall is incredibly easy to get around. All you need is a delete key. I'm sure a motivated computer geek will have figured out a similar work around for The Tennessean as soon as she realizes it's needed.

What will be sad for The Tennessean is if that geek never bothers to figure out how to hack it. That would be a pretty depressing commentary on the state of our daily.

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