Salem’s Statesman Journal has joined the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal in erecting a “pay wall” that requires any online consumer to buy a digital subscription if they wish to read more than a limited number of articles per month.
Our attempt to learn what the exact figure of free articles was, was met difficulty when we called the Statesman’s “800 number” and were on hold for 24 minutes before being able to speak to our first customer service representative. She was uncertain.
“I’m not sure,” she said, “maybe between 2 and 15 every thirty days?”
Whatever that figure may be frustrated readers, annoyed at the cost of previously free content, are finding ways to circumvent this.
When the Statesman Journal determines someone has had enough free content and blocks stories with an invitation to view subscription options, the reader can 1), switch browsers; say from Firefox to Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari. The cookies that remember past usage aren’t shared across browsers.
A different method is to 2), clear the computer’s cookies. A simple trip to the reader’s computer’s Privacy settings will quickly accomplish this.
Finally, 3), through Google News readers may be allowed free articles. The reader wanting to do this would go to Google News and type in the title of the pertinent article or its URL. With most computers, the article will appear immediately on the Google News site.
While these techniques were successful when we went to print, entities such as Gannett Company Inc., the international media giant who owns the Statesman Journal, may at any time take proactive steps to block its content.