[UPDATE: Paper Blocks Readers from Commenting on Paywall Move] Orange County Register Instituting Full Paywall for Website in April

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Updated, with new info on the bottom...

ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 28, 12:30 P.M.: When Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner first took the reins of OC's paper of record last year, one of the first things he did was announce that he was going to erect a paywall for the paper's website. Kushner didn't say when or how it would work, but details are starting to emerge from Grand Street, both official and not.

The unofficial part: the Register wants to institute some type of daily pass that would allow readers to be able to access the website for a full day, along with its archives. And Kushner wants a full paywall--no freebies for laggers, save for some blogs and incomplete stories. Hell, even partial subscribers to the paper will only be able to access the paper's website on the days they subscribe--how fucked up is that?


The official part: As seen below. Here's a letter sent to subscribers today. Our only remark at this time is that we don't expect this full paywall to last for too long, once readers start revolting. And is BugMeNot still around?

Anyhoo, the letter:

We cherish our subscribers and the incredible support you've shown for the Register's mission. We are here in the service of Orange County, and our subscribers believe in the vital role the Register plays to add richness to your daily life and help Orange County prosper.

We hope you've noticed the exciting investments we've made to create even more value for our subscribers. We have increased the depth of our newspaper by 50 percent by introducing standalone sections, more than doubled our coverage of local news and essential topics, and hired more than 100 journalists.

In April, we will take another promising step to reinforce the value of your subscription by introducing Digital Access. The local content that you access digitally through OCRegister.com is moving to a digital subscription model. Current print subscribers will have free digital access on the days you are subscribed to the print-edition. You simply need to link your account to activate your free Digital Access. In the coming week, we will send a follow-up email with instructions on how to link your account.

As always, we appreciate your support of the Register as we embark on a journey of improvements--a process we pledge to continue indefinitely. Together, we will bring our communities closer together and help Orange County thrive.

UPDATE, MARCH 30, 13:00 P.M. I've previously called Kushner the Stuart Smalley of journalism, and that label will always apply. But let me apply another label to his paper's coverage of itself: Pravda, as in the legendarily bad newspaper of Russia's Communist Party and not the fashion line.

See, the paper will only allow positive coverage and comments about itself to appear in its pages and website. If you don't believe that the Register is the best gosh-darn newspaper in the country, then you're a bad person, and the paper simply won't acknowledge a meanie. In that spirit, the newspaper published a story about it erecting a paywall late yesterday on its website, and blocked readers from commenting at all, knowing full well there's going to be a revolt.

At first, I thought the commenting ban was a glitch with the website when the story first published late last night, but it's 1 p.m. on a Saturday, and no comments are being allowed on this story and this story alone. Here's a screen grab of the end of another Reg story currently up, showing the ability to comment:

register_screen_grab_emery.png

And here's the end of the story by Mary Ann Milbourn:

register_screen_grab_no_commebts.png

It doesn't even have her contact info!

I went on another computer, just to make sure the Register hadn't somehow banned me specifically from commenting because I always post our stories in their comments section every time we beat their ass and they don't acknowledge us--nope, the comment ban is there as well. And Aaron Smalley (or is it Stuart Kushner) strikes again...HILARIOUS!


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44 comments
nycinoc
nycinoc

Somebody died

Somebody lived

Somebody found  redemption

Somebody hates everybody else in a comments section

Olive Garden wins best Italian

PF Chang wins best Asian

Nobody proofreads any of the above articles. 

No need for a subscription.


Dennis210
Dennis210

  "I will not be paying the OCR to read their 'news' on the internet.   I think it's very short sighted since there are plenty of free news outlets".

The internet is for the people not the corpoate hacks and thier subscribers will reflect that by saying bye bye. I already have. 3/4 of thier street edition paper goes in the trashcan.

Dennis210
Dennis210

"Our only remark at this time is that we don't expect this full paywall to last for too long, once readers start revolting".

Touche! - I've already revolted. 

buttersquiggle
buttersquiggle

Has anyone else ever noticed how the Irvine page on the OC Register is COMPLETELY different than any other city page? Is this some sort of long time bias or how the city allows others to represent it?

buttersquiggle
buttersquiggle

Has anyone else ever noticed how the Irvine page on the OC Register is COMPLETELY different than any other city page? Is this some sort of long time bias or how the city allows others to represent it?

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

I saw something the other day where they said that it was gonna cost you 2 dollars for access when the actual paper on the street is on 75 cents to $1.00 for not as much content and it isn't updated because it's old news after it's written.

Gericault
Gericault

The Register just paid all that money to increase it's staff and now they are building a wall around themselves. Last time I checked the Register didn't even have a viable "product". Same stupid articles. Same editorial Neaderthals. Same Political Hacks writing the same political slants, and calling it "news" while ignoring the Real salacious bits that are actually news and only receive real in depth reporting from either here or at the Voice of OC.

I had actually hoped the the Rag, was about to have a rebirth,.....sadly it will happen without anyone being aware of it. Oh well,...."If a tree falls in the forest , does it make a sound, if no one is there to hear it? If a newspaper tries to "rebuild" itself behind a paywall and no one is there to read it...?



gottaknow247
gottaknow247

Yesterday, one of the lead stories on the OCR site was that Disneyland was going to stop giving away coffee refills.  Yah, I'm going to pay for that level of journalism. 

gmiller92648
gmiller92648

I used to read the OC Register, but when I saw that they are putting up a paywall thought I would find other news sources and found this one.  I will not be paying the OCR to read their 'news' on the internet.   I think it's very short sighted since there are plenty of free news outlets.  I also hated their facebook comments and their censorship.

henrygattis
henrygattis

This is nothing new on some of the political blogs.

I was recently "BANNED" from one after a city council woman's husband complained and threatened to sue. Funny part is, he was posting under a fake name and when I exposed him all hell broke loose.

Information will always have a way to get out. When outfits like the Register, LA Times and Voice Of OC censor comments, they usually find themselves on the losing side.

Sarah Acosta
Sarah Acosta

LOL I only read this for your articles. Too many weed and escort service ads but I guess that's what pays the bills. :)

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

Im gonna miss all the red neck racist comments over there. Oh wait since those cabrons dont have debit cards to pay with I will see them here at the weekly instead. Im gonna miss the register.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

The sales folks at the Weekly should be selling a lot more Web units this Spring.  

Profitability, and hopefully salaries, will deservedly rise in due time.  

Matt Coker might actually start serving the cat food he buys to his cats. 

sparklegirl38
sparklegirl38

 "Hell, even partial subscribers to the paper will only be able to access the paper's website on the days they subscribe--how fucked up is that?"

Completely fucked, 2-girls-1-cup fucked, that's how fucked.  

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

Oh no! Without access to Fast Food Maven, where will I get keen, insightful analysis of the local food scene!

OCLocal
OCLocal

"And Kushner wants a full paywall--no freebies for laggers, save for some blogs and incomplete stories."

Most of their stories are incomplete! No loss, there are plenty of better sources for real news.

briansays
briansays

they already simply lift and simply cross post a lot of stuff from other sources--just look at Lasher

Dennis210
Dennis210

133,000 unemployed in Orange County California and they want to charge us money? = Doh!

Dennis210
Dennis210

"We cherish our subscribers and the incredible support you've shown for the Register's mission".

= Bullshit, it'll crash after this announcement.

We can't pay you because we have no jobs or money. We're Bankrupt.

Dennis210
Dennis210

The City of Costa Mesa is mathematically bankrupt, there is no job creation going on here". - Mayor Jim Righeimer in the OC Register.

There are no jobs so no one has any money to pay for the OC Register because there are no jobs. - Doh!

Dennis210
Dennis210

And then they wonder why nobody reads the street paper anymore, and they're losing revenue. But that won't solve thier problems.

18usc241
18usc241

The main problem with the paywall model? If everyone were to jump onto that bandwagon by definition the internet as we know it would collapse. A person might like a certain sources content enough to pay a fee to continue receiving it. But what about the other 100 websites that you might visit on a monthly basis? Would you be willing to pay for an additional 100 subscriptions? And what happens to the hyperlink concept? If you click on a link and it takes you to a site for which you don't have a subscription? Then what? 

Though I do like the idea of their "comments" section being behind some form of a wall...preferably padded. 

GeoffWillis
GeoffWillis

I have read the Register for the last 50 years and will miss it.  It will not take long for them to realize that subscribers will not instantly flock to a pay site and that will tank the paper before you can blink.  I actually don't know the answer to this - has a newspaper with a paywall ever survived on the internet?

BobLoblawsLawBlog
BobLoblawsLawBlog

I don't pay now and I feel cheated every time I read a register article. Good Luck OCR, I'm sure you'll enjoy the company of the Orange County Times.

Woodstein
Woodstein

You get what you pay for. This publication being case in point.

I would be happy to pay for well researched, well written, non-pandering-to-the-lowest-common-denominator news.

That does not include the OC Register. 

DanChmielewski
DanChmielewski

There was a time when we paid for content on the Internet; remember CompuServe and AOL when you were billed by the hour?  Newspapers need a new model to measure value to advertisers -- one that combines circulation and unique viewers on the Internet.  New technology to deliver ads based on story selection does exist.  If you want the Register's content, you should be willing to pay for it. 

Michele Jones
Michele Jones

Oh, like i'm going to pay for that shit. lol

Dave Nguyen
Dave Nguyen

OC Weekly > OC Register. Not a smart move since I can get any OC related info everywhere else for free. The only perk is really those pesky reward codes that the register gives out for subscribers.

canin2
canin2

Damn, I love reading the comments sections in OC Reg articles for the satisfying pleasures of ferreting out Gustavo's brilliant clarifications!

loveabully
loveabully

Another nail in the coffin of newspapers, in print or online. There's enough free media to fill the void. RIP Register.

JWILSON
JWILSON

It's no secret that newspapers are in financial trouble because of free internet news.   As a paying subscriber who rarely opens the paper version any longer, I fully support this.

Robert Baker
Robert Baker

Even though I live in Vegas (ex OC pat), your rag is great, great journalism.

thepotstirer
thepotstirer

OK, I already subscribe to the Register daily, so I'm home "free".. maybe. We'll see.  Somebody needs to figure this out pretty darn quick or the print media as we've known it will be toast.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@gottaknow247  LOL...I thought the exact same thing when I saw that.  

Well said...i.e. do you really want to pay for that level of journalism?

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator topcommentereditor

@JBinOC We might actually make pennies instead of the pesos we've always made!

Dennis210
Dennis210

We have homeless bums in the parks in Costa Mesa and the cops are harassing them.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator topcommentereditor

@GeoffWillis Not a full one. Even the Wall Street Journal gives some stuff away for free...

henrygattis
henrygattis

@DanChmielewski Yeah. Here is a real journalistic genius, a guy running a PR sham from his garage. Pretending to be a "Cub Reporter" 'cause his old lady shleps for Disney at the LA Times.

Thanks for the info Dan! Any other trends you can repaste from CNN?

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