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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Asheville Citizen-Times Commits Suicide

Wherein the Asheville Citizen-Times continues down the path of becoming less and less relevant in delivering news content...

An excerpt from the announcement:

The Citizen-Times is about to change the way people read and view our content.

Beginning the first of July, people who do not subscribe to the Citizen-Times will have limited access to our content on smartphones, tablet devices and website.

People who subscribe to the Citizen-Times, however, will continue to receive the print edition delivered to their homes or businesses and also will receive:

• Full access to

• The ability to download our mobile apps for iPhone and Android smartphones to view unlimited stories, videos and photographs.

• The option to receive an exact digital replica of the print edition delivered to an email account by 5 a.m. every day.

• Access to an enhanced digital site designed for tablet devices.

Nonsubscribers will be able to view 10 news items a month before they will be prompted to subscribe.

Not all of our content, however, will be metered and count against the 10-per-month limit. We will not limit access to significant breaking news stories, like natural disasters, election results or school closings that happen as a result of snowstorms. These stories will not count against the limit.
Source: Asheville Citizen-Times

I wish the Asheville Citizen-Times a painful demise.

I also love the blatant lie he tells that the print subscribers have been subsidizing the online version. As a former AC-T Carrier, the money for subscriptions is supposed to go to the carriers, and the paper subsidizes that activity, not the other way around. The paper is essentially given away and the advertisers have supported the paper, both the advertisers of the print edition and the online edition.

What this also tells me is that the paper must be getting a lot of visitors who just read a story or two, then leave. They are thinking that they can capitalize on tricking those people into paying for subscriptions.

The only problem is that once people realize they can live without the Citizen-Times website...they will...and the downward spiral will continue.

Just take a look at their WNC LINC Project that was supposed to be a joint venture between the Citizen-Times and local bloggers:

The Asheville Citizen-Times is one of five news organizations across the country working to develop an information network among local news sites and blogs. The project is funded by a grant administered through American University’s J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism. At WNC LINC, follow progress of the project and learn about what it takes to create a networked regional news and information cooperative.

Most of the local bloggers or "news" websites have not updated their websites in months. The Tuck Reader hasn't been updated since November 2011, the Montford Neighborhood Association website hasn't been updated since February 2010, The Blue Banner has not been updated since March of this year and The Hilltop website been offline for who knows how long.

The only websites which are current is the Ask Asheville static link farm, the Artful Parent and The Appalachian.

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