Digital First Media builds paywalls for its 75 newspapers

John Paton, CEO of newspaper conglomerate Digital First Media, says the company is going to build paywalls for all 75 of its newspapers, in an effort to put more gas in the tank so the company can complete its print-to-digital journey.

Despite the move to paywalls, Paton says that paid digital subscriptions are not a long-term strategy. They don’t transform anything; they tweak. At best, they are a short-term tactic. Paton believes that long-term revenue for Digital First and other media companies comes from selling a variety of multi-platform products and services to advertisers and marketers.

Weve always been at war with Eastasia

Dont let that shadow touch them American World War II propaganda poster from the Washington State library.

Washington State University says its opened a digital collection of World War I and World War II propaganda posters from around the world. The collection has close to 520 posters made between the years 1914 and 1945.

The high-resolution collection features keyword searches and and a deep-zoom tool.

Blogger Andrew Sullivan earns $791k from subscriptions

Superstar blogger Andrew Sullivan reports that his blog, the Dish, has earned $791,000 since he put up a metered paywall ten months ago, $518,000 of which came from a “pre-subscription drive” before the paywall went up.

Sullivan hopes to earn $900,000 by the end of the year, although back in May he remarked that that the goal looked less likely.

Subscriptions go for $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year.

The Dish saw a surge in subscriptions during October – the highest since last March – which Sullivan figures came from readers wanting to know more about the US government shutdown and threat of default.

Sullivan says the blog now has 30,880 paying subscribers. In October it saw 1.2 million unique visitors and 7.7 million page-views, which he says is the highest number of unique visitors the blog has had since leaving The Daily Beast ten months ago.

As a way to prod freeloaders into ponying up for the subscription, Sullivan says the blog now support house ads that remind readers to subscribe. Paying subscribers who have signed into their account wont see the ads.

So far so great, says Sullivan. The blog raised $3,400 in new subscriptions in our slowest period of the week, which is three times the total of last weekend.

Daily email news digest theSkimm raises $1.1M

Daily email news digest theSkimm says its raised $1.1 million in financing. Homebrew led the funding round. The startup says it will use the funding to expand its audience and refresh the newsletter design.

theSkimm works by summarizing news and packaging it into a daily newsletter that appeals to women. The startup says its newsletter simplifies the headlines for the educated professional who knows enough to know she needs more.

Most people read news on Facebook accidentally

Most US adults wind up reading news on Facebook accidentally, finds a survey by the Pew Research Center.

According to the survey, 78% of Facebook users who read news on the site were there for other reasons. Only 4% of those surveyed said the site is the most important way they get news.

Thirty-four percent of Facebook users who say they read news on the site are 29 years-old or younger.

When Facebook news consumers were asked why they decided to click on a news article, 70% of them said they read the story because it interested them.  Facebook news consumers also said they had other reasons for reading an article:

  • entertaining 51%
  • surprising 50%
  • friend recommendation 37%
  • preferred news outlet 20%
  • story has lots of likes 13%

Emily Dickinson Archive publishes digital images of Dickinson’s manuscripts

The Emily Dickinson Archive says its published high-resolution digital images of Dickinson’s manuscripts, which are online at The site offers readers a way to browse the archive by collection or search by keyword. Readers can zoom deep into each page and examine the writers handwriting.

This archive says its first phase includes images of poems identified in The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition, edited by R. W. Franklin.

Image of Emily Dickinsons handwriting from the Emily Dickinson Archive

Majority of Canadians read newspapers, either print or digital

Close to 80% of Canadas population  reads a newspaper at least once a week, in either print or digital form, finds a study by NADbank, a Canadian news industry research organization.

The study found that weekly readership is highest in Halifax at 84%, Winnipeg at 83% and Montreal at 80%.

Weekly digital readership ranges from 29% to 39% in Canada. Halifax is the top digital news market, followed by Winnipeg, Montreal and London.

Up to 60% of Canadians read newspapers every day, with print still winning as the primary source. Total weekly readership across all news platforms has reached 10 million for the first time in Canada.

Daily and weekly newspaper readership according to new study by NADbank