Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

SB News-Repress: So Last Century

So, you ever tried to access the News-Repress online?

If you are NOT a print subscriber, you are invited to register and buy online access to daily articles appearing on The cost is $6.00 for four weeks, $18 for 13 weeks, or an annual subscription for $60. (Single stories from our archives can be purchased for $2.50 per article.) Please note: Classifed, Special Sections and Community pages are available for FREE to all visitors.
Oh golly gee Wendy, thanks for the bone. I can get the classifieds for free? How magnanimous of you. And please note, they didn't even spell "classified" correctly, and this has been their splash page for eons. Lovely editing, just lovely. Now, compare this to the Santa Maria Times where all sections are free, and you don't even have to register. Compare this to the Ventura County Star:

Become a Registered User

Please take a moment to tell us about yourself!

By completing this simple one-time registration, you'll gain instant access to all our award-winning news coverage and interactive subscription services.

To register, just complete the form below!
So, if you're wondering why us BlogaBarbararians are not linking to the News-Repress articles that we discuss, it's because we can't. Sara actually had to key this stuff in. I'm not sure if McCaw and the gang are 1). really behind the times and clueless as to the standards of open-source information on the web, or 2). have no idea how to build an online advertising model that would make their site both profitable and free, or 3). they are frightened of the online world and stick to the safety of paper to insulate themselves from media criticism like the kind you see here at BlogaBarbara, or 4). they are greedy elitists who really don't give a flying squirrel about access to news and information for the thousands of Santa Barbarians who can't afford a subscription to their publication, online or hardcopy, in this incredibly expensive town.

Whatever the answer, perhaps the News-Repress should take a look at the major CA dailies like the Los Angeles Times, or The San Francisco Chronicle, or the San Jose Mercury News, or The Sacramento Bee. Every one of these publications provides full content with nothing more than a simple, free, and fast registration. You'd think, that in a place as wealthy as Santa Barbara, that a locally-owned and operated paper would give a shit about the citizens it claims to serve and provide free content for all Santa Barbarians -- not just the ones who can afford it. Heck, it's not like they couldn't make money on the site with advertising. In the meantime, I guess all you locals who want online news will need to go the SB Independent or Edhat. Maybe someday we can drag Wendy and the gang kicking and screaming into the 20th century -- but hey, don't bet on the 21st. Baby steps, baby steps...


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