Review to charge for online content
Lake Oswego Review reporter Claire Holley was the only print reporter in attendance Sunday when state Rep. Andrea Salinas, state Sen. Rob Wagner and the young members of Students for Change held a press conference to explain the gun-reform bill they have introduced in Salem.
In fact, The Review was the only newspaper to report on the high school students' 10-point plan when they presented it to Salinas and Wagner in April 2018. The only paper to report on Superintendent Heather Beck's decision to leave the Lake Oswego School District, and the selection of her successor. The only newspaper to report on the district's $187 million bond measure from inception to construction.
Only Review reporters Sam Stites and Anthony Macuk provided extensive coverage of the November elections — including in-depth profiles of every candidate — to help voters make informed choices. Only Stites provides regular coverage of City Hall and the decisions made by the council and its boards and commissions.
Big construction projects on Country Club and Boones Ferry roads? Plans for the North Anchor and a proposed mountain bike park at Luscher Farm? Fire Chief Larry Goff's sudden departure? Sure, but Stites has also written in recent weeks about Lake Oswego Reads and Booktique's move to a new home, about the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network's annual celebration and Duke Castle's "London Connection" — all stories you'll find nowhere else.
In fact, every issue of The Review is packed with exclusive stories. Only Neighbors Editor Barb Randall wrote recently about the opening of Bamboo Sushi in The Windward and about a group of Lake Oswego mentors who support preschool moms. Only reporter Corey Buchanan introduced readers to local artists, musicians and other folks who make Lake Oswego such a special place. Only intern Lucy Kleiner explained how a local choir offers a place of healing and a sense of community in addition to some pretty cool music.
And only Review Sports Editor Miles Vance has given you the best coverage of Lake Oswego and Lakeridge high school sports every week, covering all the varsity teams and athletes at both schools, feeding The Review's website with new content on a daily basis and regularly sharing his great photography through online slideshows.
These examples are just a snapshot of what The Review's news staff does every week to cover Lake Oswego. Typically, its reporters are the only ones attending local City Council meetings, School Board sessions and school events. Collectively, our news team devotes more than 160 hours every week to producing the news content for each issue of The Review.
Behind the scenes, Julie Watson, Bob Bohrer and Rick Fryback all work with local businesses to create advertising programs to run through The Review's print, digital and social media platforms. Designers place all of the content on the newspaper's pages and create the ads that we sell.
Another person uploads pages to the press, where pressmen print the papers that drivers deliver to the U.S. Postal Service and to 50 newsstands throughout Lake Oswego.
All so that The Review can be your best source of news and information about Lake Oswego. But the truth is, nothing comes for free.
News worth paying for
Since the Lake Oswego Review launched its website in the 2000s, we have always provided our online visitors a free pass to our content while charging a subscription fee to our customers who receive the printed newspaper.
Back then, we felt our responsibility was to deliver the news in whatever formats we could. But today, without getting some compensation for our hard work, we can no longer just give our news away.
Times are changing. The number of people who are accessing our online news content is on the rise, even though the number of print subscribers is flat. It's a reality of our industry that we can't ignore.
In order to maintain and hopefully grow our news coverage in both print and online, we've arrived at the decision to charge a subscription fee for access to news content on our website — just like we do for our print subscribers.
What's that going to look like?
Q: If I already subscribe to the print edition, will I have free access to the website?
A: Yes. Unrestricted.
Q: How much will it cost for a single year subscription — print or digital — to the Lake Oswego Review?
A: $43 per year in print/digital; $35 per year for digital only; $1 for an online day pass.
Q: Can I buy a single story?
A: We are going with what's called a "monthly metered paywall," where web visitors will be able to read three stories a month at no cost (though you will be asked to provide an email address). Non-subscribers will encounter the paywall after the third free story each month.
Q: Will some of the content remain available outside of the paywall?
A: The paywall will never prohibit access to digital advertising, classified ads, obituaries and Insiders.
Q: What about big news stories? Will I have access to those?
A: Yes. Our newsroom editor will have discretion to post "breaking news" outside the paywall. So in the event of an impending eruption of Mount Hood, we won't charge you to read the words "RUN FOR YOUR LIFE."
Q: Is this specific to the Lake Oswego Review?
A: Yes and no. The Portland Tribune, which is part of the Pamplin Media Group, is a free publication, so it won't move behind a paywall. But all other Pamplin publications that charge subscription fees are transitioning to this model.
Q: When is this happening?
A: The switch flips on Monday, Jan. 28.
A commitment to you
For 98 years, The Review has reported on the news of Lake Oswego, and that's not changing anytime soon. The newspaper will cover city councils, school boards, sports, classrooms, crime, entertainment, health and every other imaginable topic for as long as people are interested in knowing what's going on in their community.
As the only consistent and dedicated source for local news about Lake Oswego, The Review is the only media working to educate, encourage and clearly explain "the why" something is happening. By doing so, the newspaper can help local citizens understand how they can work together to create outcomes for the good of all.
But The Review can only continue to do this with your financial support. Many people reading this are already subscribers to the paper and understand the value it provides. Now it's time to spread that news.
As subscribers, this change doesn't directly affect you. But you do play a very important role — you are The Review's best advocates. Please encourage your family and friends to subscribe to the newspaper or to advertise in its online and print products. Together, you can help create an informed and educated community — a stronger Lake Oswego.
Thank you for your understanding as The Review makes this transition.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.