Starting Tuesday, stories on will no longer be completely free.

As the overwhelming majority of other papers in the region have already done, there will be a metered paywall whereby people will have to purchase a subscription. Those who already have a print subscription will have free access to all online stories. They simply need to establish an online account or log in if they already have an account. Additionally, one subscription price covers both print and online. 

The one-price subscription for total access to the print and online version is only $40 per year. That’s less than the price of a cup of coffee per week. Subscribe before Oct. 22 and the introductory price is only $22 per year. 

To start, we will be making the first five stories each month free. After five stories, the sixth story and beyond will require a subscription to read.

However, all obituaries and stories we deem to be of immediate importance to the community, such as free COVID testing, reporting on an active standoff situation or a large wreck that shuts down a major road, will always be free.

We know this may ruffle some feathers, but the state of the industry has put us in this position. We very much appreciate our print subscribers and our advertisers, but what we want to accomplish often requires more.

Stories, after all, take time to report on and cover, write and edit. Pictures take time to take and edit. The newspaper requires time to design and build, time to print and time to deliver. That all costs money.

The average front page news feature or the more in-depth news story takes three-four hours. The average football game story takes roughly four hours.

A series of two-to-three parts can take upwards of 30 hours, such as the stories on water issues in Park County, which came to a head after a new 23-lot subdivision went before the Park County Commissioners for approval. In fact, today’s paper has two stories on a contract nearly voted on by the school board that involved a company closely connected with then superintendent Peg Monteith. Not only did these stories take many hours to research, report on, write and edit, the newspaper also spent more than $200 to acquire the necessary public record documents needed to verify certain facts in the story. 

There are many stories people in the community want to read about, and we want to continue to be able to answer that call. Now, we need you to help us make that happen.

(8) comments

Tom Conners

Many of us knew this was coming as all across this once great nation free speech is being suppressed. Shades of Orewell? Are your papers in order?

Jason Todd

A business charging for the service they provide is suppression of free speech? C'mon man!

Jason Todd

How is a business charging for their services suppression of free speech?

Scott Conger

Jason, it's pretty clear that Tom has only cashed paychecks, not written any.

Dewey Vanderhoff

If one must pay for local news online, your best bet is the Powell Tribune. More bang for the buck

Barbara Hull

What if I only want an online subscription? (Editor's note: you can purchase an online only subscription on our website, but it will be the same price at this time.)

(Edited by staff.)

Barbara Hull

Yeah, no. You need to come up with an online only discount. I'd be willing to pay something for online access but considering the reduction in cost to you for online only this seems unreasonable.

Arlie Sorenson

Your counterpart in the Basin, the Powell Tribune enacted this same policy. How did it work out for them? Well, since then the Trib only comes out once a week, vs the previous twice a week. (Editor's note: The Powell Tribune prints two papers per week)

(Edited by staff.)

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