The plan to start charging readers for digital access comes as newspapers face serious challenges because advertisers — once a main source of revenue — are choosing to put their dollars into other media.
Print advertising for the newspaper industry fell a sixth consecutive year in 2012, dropping 7.3 percent, according to The State of the News Media, an influential annual report released on Monday by The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.
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On top of a drain in print advertising revenue, the gap between print and digital is startling: For every $1 gained in digital advertising there is a loss of $16 in print, the report said.
At the Post, print advertising declined 14 percent to $228.2 million in 2012. Digital advertising, which includes the online magazine Slate, increased 5 percent to $110.6 million.
Roughly 32 percent of all dailies in the U.S. charge for some kind of digital access, according to the report.
The New York Times Co., which launched a pay model in 2011, has been perhaps the most closely watched paper.
Paid digital subscribers to the newspaper and its international edition totaled 640,000 at the end of the fourth quarter. Circulation revenue surpassed advertising revenue at The New York Times for the first time in 2012.