Sun is right to charge for its website — but print subscribers should get it for free

October 03, 2011

I understand the decision you have taken to charge for access to the digital content at The Sun, and frankly I'm glad you've done it. We face a very simple problem: News is expensive to produce. If readers don't pay for the news, it cannot be produced. And of course, without an active, critical, independent press, democracy cannot succeed. I therefore value the service you provide highly, and I'm willing to pay for it.

In fact, I already do pay for it: I have subscribed to home delivery service of The Sun for years. I have done this for two reasons: First, I like having a physical paper around. With a real world copy of the day's news, I am exposed to articles that I might not otherwise seek out online, and I'm better informed as a result. Secondly, I have been a paying subscriber because, as mentioned above, I understand the economics of news generation, and I feel some responsibility to pay my fair share.

All of which brings me to the point of this letter:

I am very disappointed with your decision to require home delivery subscribers to pay for access to the Sun website. Your policy is an insult to loyal readers like me, who have paid for years despite the fact we could get the very same information from the very same source, faster, and without cost.

Please reconsider this policy. The New York Times got it right: Home delivery subscribers receive complimentary access to their online content. I suggest you follow the leader.

Moreover, if this policy stands, I will drop home delivery and take my business elsewhere.

Haakon Maxwell, Abell

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