If you’ve been avoiding theledger.com because of its restrictive pay meter, now might be a good time to check it out. Perhaps it’s temporary, but most readers I’ve checked with have been able to access plenty of articles lately without logging in.

For the record, the official company position is that nothing has changed. Answering questions I emailed to The Ledger, Circulation Director John Mihalyo says, “​The paywall appears after seven story views on the website in a month.  At that time you will see a box from Tinypass asking you to register for the digital edition.”

But that’s not my experience or the experience of most everyone who answered a query I posted on Facebook.

I’m told that GateHouse Media, owner of The Ledger, has set the meter at many of its newspapers at a high level to encourage more web traffic (thus more advertising impressions), but that individual newspapers can adjust how quickly readers hit the pay wall. So the easy access could be temporary.

Other GateHouse newspapers, such as The Gainesville Sun, seem to have the same easy access that The Ledger does, while others such as The Providence Journal notify readers after five stories that they must pay to continue.

Theledger.com launched as a free, advertising-supported website in 1998. Along with its sister newspapers at what was then the New York Times Regional Media Group, it switched to a paid site in 2013 in an effort to increase subscriber revenue and shore up print subscriptions; seven-day home subscribers are given unlimited access to online products.

Some may wonder why I’m writing an article that might encourage LkldNow readers to check another news site. There are several reasons:

  • I see this as a consumer story that affects a major community institution that is sometimes reticent to cover itself.
  • LkldNow is a nonprofit aimed at increasing community engagement through access to news and information. We supplement the news we cover by curating news about Lakeland from other sources and link to Ledger articles frequently. Since it helps us to accomplish our mission if our readers can access all the stories we link to, I’m letting folks know they’re unlikely to be turned away when following our links to The Ledger.

SEND CORRECTIONS, questions, feedback or news tips: newstips@lkldnow.com


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Your Thoughts On This? (Comments are moderated; first and last name are required.)