Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Locked out: Another reason to hate the Star-Advertiser’s paywall

by Larry Geller

I think it’s fair to hate how the Star-Advertiser has implemented its paywall. After all, they seem to hate me, a subscriber to the print edition.

This morning, before the print paper was deposited on my doorstep, I wanted to check out an article. So I signed on, only to be greeted with this error message:

Hate the reader

Looking around the Disappeared News, ahem, office,  this is the only computer running at present, and there is only one browser running on this one.  But I am locked out. Notice that the error message offers no help or assistance.

Windows is a terrible operating system, subject to aborts and numerous errors. Browsers aren’t perfect either, they can abort also, particularly if there are too many tabs open (which is not necessarily their fault, Windows is implicated in that issue also). So who knows, maybe the last time I was signed on to the Star-Advertiser paywall, Windows may have burped.

So now I’m locked out.

I’m very aware that one print issue of the newspaper can be shared by a whole family, or a whole library for that matter. Or anyone visiting a doctors office.

Grrrr.  At this time in the morning I’m unlikely to get any help from the friendly Advertiser subscription lady on the phone.

I keep thinking that this newspaper doesn’t care about me, only about its advertisers. After all, it’s not the Star-Herald or the Star-Examiner. What seems to be important to them are the full page quack ads, or prostituting the front page to an advertiser with a half-page wraparound ad. They regularly squish their front-page layout towards the right side of the page to accommodate the advertisement. In other words, the advertising department tells the news department what to do.

[Obviously, since I can’t read the on-line newspaper, I’m sitting here stewing and venting on them. Good for me. Maybe they’ll read this later.]

And I’m constantly aware that I can’t use Google to find articles because they’ve removed themselves from the Internet.

Our “paper of record” is putting us on record as a major city without an online daily newspaper. Someone should speak with them. Someone from the Chamber of Commerce, perhaps, since they understand advertisers.

They obviously don’t care about me, a mere reader-subscriber..

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