This has been a busy week of web­site news for the state’s two biggest news orga­ni­za­tions: The Boston Globe is opening up the wall around its site, while Gate­House Media is putting up pay­walls on some of its local sites for the first time.

The shift at the Globe to what’s known as a metered pay­wall — in which non-​​subscribers can access a lim­ited number of sto­ries behind the wall — is more than just a change in cir­cu­la­tion strategy. Under new owner John Henry, the Globe is embarking on the biggest changes to its online pres­ence since the paper cre­ated a second web­site aimed at locking up sto­ries behind a pay­wall in 2011.

Gate­House, though, is taking a more ten­ta­tive approach. As first reported by North­eastern Uni­ver­sity pro­fessor Dan Kennedy, Gate­House is trot­ting out metered pay­walls at its web­sites for the MetroWest Daily News, Mil­ford Daily News and Brockton Enter­prise. Users will be able to get up to 15 free arti­cles each month before they’re asked to pony up for a sub­scrip­tion. This is down­right gen­erous com­pared to the stingy three clicks per month* allowed at the Cape Cod Times and Standard-​​Times of New Bed­ford, which GateHouse’s parent com­pany recently acquired from Dow Jones. A dif­ferent model will be tried at GateHouse’s Herald News in Fall River that pro­vides basic ver­sions of sto­ries to casual readers and more in-​​depth news to paying “mem­bers.” In the past, Gate­House has with­held some of its sto­ries from online audi­ences, dub­bing them “print extra.” (I pre­vi­ously worked at GateHouse’s Patriot Ledger in Quincy.) But this is the first evi­dence of pay­walls among GateHouse’s Mass­a­chu­setts media.

Read the article at Boston Business Journal →