Washington Post Arriving Late to Paywall Party

Flags wave in front of the Washington Post building on May 1, 2009 in Washington, DC. The newspaper has announced its first quarter earnings with a net loss of $19.5 million.
Photo: Alex Wong/2009 Getty Images

The Washington Post will erect a digital paywall beginning this summer, as threatened. The paper’s announcement comes on the same day Pew’s State of the Media report says the news industry "reached a tipping point in 2012," settling "an almost theological debate about whether digital content should be free." For the Post, it was particularly complicated by the fact that, while its circulation is almost entirely local, the paper depends on a national audience online, making a print subscriber bundle, like the New York Times uses, impractical. Still, the Post will start a metered system that kicks in after twenty free articles, with loopholes for subscribers and much of the D.C. area: "students, teachers, school administrators, government employees and military personnel will have unlimited access to the Web site while in their schools and workplaces." Enjoy the exceptions while they last.