Editorial: The story behind online questions
Published 9:36 am Friday, May 1, 2015
We have received several questions recently about the questions readers have to answer on our website before viewing articles.
Why must readers answer these questions?
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Instead of implementing a paywall, which prevents online users from accessing the site without a paid subscription, the Tribune uses questions sponsored by Google to offset some of the operational and maintenance costs of having a website.
Whether the general public recognizes it or not, it costs money to operate a 24/7 website — whether through collecting, writing, posting and maintaining archives on the site.
All you have to do is look at some neighboring papers. More and more are starting to charge to view stories online.
The most recent to implement online subscriptions is the Mason City Globe Gazette. While you can see their home page and a certain number of stories for free each month, the more frequent users now have to pay for access. The same is true for the Mankato Free Press, which offers a handful of free stories before requiring a subscription.
We ask, would you rather answer one or two questions online or pay to view articles?
The questions only require a few seconds of time before you can read an article.