Thursday, April 21, 2011

Apparent Change of Policy at the Register-Star

A reader just alerted Gossips to a very recent change in the Register-Star's online policy. Beginning sometime this morning, anyone wishing to read an article in the online version of the newspaper must first register and then log in on every subsequent visit. Is this a prelude to charging for online access to the newspaper? Whatever the rationale, the new policy will inhibit Gossips, as well as any number of news aggregating sites--for example, WGXC Newsroom and wikicoconews--from referring readers to Register-Star articles, since  readers may not be willing to register or to log in to read an article.      


  1. I just discovered this for myself. I then switched to 'Gossips' to see the latest news - which I usually do first everyday - however hadn't seen the rag for over a week and decided to check it out. No luck, didn't subscribe and now I see it's a pain for Gossips and others as well.

  2. You only have to sign in the first time or after clearing the cookies from your browser. The NY Times and Boston Globe as well as lots of other news sources also make people register.

  3. You can hit the stay logged in button after signing in once and then it wont ask you to log in every single time. makes life much easier.

    It was a surprise to me as well this morning. I hope you all will help us feel out this and any changes we make. If it is too much of a hastle or can be tweaked in some way, by all means tell us, call Theresa, send an e-mail, whatever. We are the community newspaper and value the input.

    I realized I didn't have an account and signed up for the first time today. wasn't too hard.


  4. As part of this move, will the community newspaper allow anonymous online comments? The paper does not allow anonymous letters-to-the-editor, because of both the potential for libel/slander, and the generally corrosive effect on the community. Anonymous comments on the paper's website are essentially the same as letters-to-the-editor, but there is no similar standard applied.

    Years ago the Reg-Star had a phone line which allowed people to call in comments without identifying them, and these were printed. The practice was discontinued (sometime in the late 80s or early 90s, IIRC) because of the abuses it invited. The current management does not seem to have the same sense of community as the previous owners, at least when it comes to allowing irresponsible and defamatory material to appear on its site.

    --Sam P.