The higher-ups at "South Jersey's newspaper" haven't responded to my emails seeking more information on their new pricing scheme, but they are already asking you to start paying for their coverage (or lack thereof).
Despite the dozens of reporters, editors and other South Jersey neighbors the Courier-Post has laid off in the past several years, along with months worth of unpaid leaves of absence forced on employees—action that left many workers with no option but to tap the already dry state unemployment fund—the company has decided their online product is now so vital that you can only read it if you pay for it.
And furthermore, they have decided subscribers must pay for online service even if they don't want it.
Looking for Internet-only access? For all the website, mobile device and e-newsletter action you used to get for free, you're now going to have to spend $10 per month or $120 per year (or go to your local Patch site, Philly.com/SouthJersey, the Burlington County Times, the Gloucester County Times/South Jersey Times, NJ.com's county-by-county coverage, The Retrospect (requires subscription), the Barrington Bulletin or any of a number of other publications filled with local news).
Of course, you can get online access bundled with home delivery. For the same $10 per month, you can get online and the Sunday newspaper. Or, for $14 per month you can get Thursday-Sunday in print along with online access. And the final option is $21 per month for full week home delivery coupled with online access.
Print only? Sorry—no such option exists.
The C-P bosses have managed to make apples-to-apples comparisons difficult. According to this page (warning, clicking on that link will count as reading an article on the Courier's site, and you only get so many free reads before you are locked out), the newspaper didn't offer Sunday-only subscriptions as of last year. And the weekend subscription was Friday through Sunday (instead of Thursday through Sunday, as now offered).
But here's the basic comparison:
Preferred reading method ---- Before paywall -- after payway
Online only ---- Free -- $120 per year
Sunday only ---- $78/year (newsstand) -- $120/year (home delivered)
Weekend only ---- $117.36/yr (Fri-Sun) -- $168/yr (Thur-Sun)
All week ---- $200.88/yr -- $252/yr
One might think a profession that historically has pushed for greater transparency to ensure average citizens were as informed as possible might, itself, want to be transparent regarding its reasons for raising prices.
Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the case.