The Kansas City Star has notified registered users of its KansasCity.com Web site that effective 9/4/09 it will implement new "Terms of Service" that will include a subscription or surcharge for certain on-line content.
The McClatchy-owned paper has been forced to dramatically reduce its staffing levels, seen its circulation drop and has tried all kinds of methods to generate additional revenue, including dramatically increasing the cost of the paper...
It's not clear what the Star plans to charge for, or why the Star thinks this plan will succeed when all other attempts by newspapers to charge for online content have flopped. What are they going to hide behind a paywall? Breaking news?... consumers will go somewhere else. Feature stories?... I doubt there is enough readership potential to make it worthwhile. Talented writers?... nobody in their right mind would limit readership of writers who have a following.
To read the Star's updated terms of service policy, click here.