Following in the footsteps of the other papers in New Hampshire the Union Leader is invoking the "hey it’s our news you should pay for it" clause. They will be erecting a subscriber wall sometime soon. (Merry Christmas!) So it’s capitalism for good or bad and hold the beach at all cost.
They are, like the other digital broadsheets, willing to let you have a look up the skirt–so to speak–with a 10 column per month freebie if you pony up an email address. The idea is to let you reach "Second Base," in the hope that what you really want is to get to third or beyond. People who repeatedly bump up against the ten column per month limit may be encouraged to get off the digital-dole and support some working families. Or maybe they will look someplace else. It’s all part of the risk.
Subscribers to print or digital will have full on-line access. But the days of collecting in-bound links from outbound blogs like GraniteGrok are over. Without knowing which of our readers has access most of us will simply grab a fair-use quote with attribution and skip the link entirely. It is bad form to test your readers with a link that leads them to a form or interview and while the (Subscription Required) warning is fashionable to some extent, it gets tedious when your own model is to give your own reporting away.
I completely understand why the Union Leader is doing it. They are certainly welcome to do whatever they feel they have to. But I am wondering one thing. At what point will they start attributing all of the free leads they may be getting from GraniteGrok or other bloggers, on the pages they have obscured behind their subscribe rand pay wall?