The Selma Times-Journal to Erect Paywall March 1

Speaking of paywalls, The Selma Times-Journal is targeting March 1 for its move to a pay model — actually, three pay models. The Alabama newspaper will offer full-time access for an entire year for $48; one month for $4.95; or two-day passes, which it did not specify the cost of.

Print subscribers will receive rebates matching their digital costs should they elect to participate.

The decision by the Times-Journal had nothing to do with Wednesday’s introduction of the Google One Pass content payment system, as the newspaper will use PayPal.

Times-Journal publisher Dennis Palmer said:

For more than one decade, we’ve offered our news content free through our Web site following the early trend of newspapers delivering digital news content in such a manner. More and more small, hyperlocal newspapers across the country are finding flaws with such an operational structure, and, like them, we’ve determined that such a business model simply doesn’t make sense.

We chose PayPal because we wanted an online payment-processing service that was proven, trustworthy, and easy-to-use, and PayPal met those criteria.

We realize that this will be a big change for those who are used to receiving our service free-of-charge. Last month, selmatimesjournal.com had 50,212 unique visitors who spent an average of four minutes per visit while viewing 706,828 pages of content. We realize we are likely to lose some of those readers with this change, but it’s obvious to us that the investment we make each day in delivering uniquely local content has value.

Editor Tim Reeves added:

The topic of paid online content is one we as an industry have discussed for years, and, in making this transition, we sought to make it as easy and reliable a process as possible.