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La Prensa Newspaper Erecting a Pay Wall

La Prensa Newspaper Erecting a Pay Wall

La Prensa, Panama’s leading daily, will begin charging readers a subscription fee after they exceed a monthly allowance of 10 free articles, the newspaper announced in a statement released Monday.

Existing subscribers to the print edition will automatically get access to the editorial content of it print and online editions, while non-subscribers will be offered a free 30-day trial access after they have reached the limit of 10 articles.

Juan Carlos Planells, general manager of the paper's parent company La Prensa Corporation said in a press release:

A new stage of La Prensa’s digital journalism begins on Thursday, November 10. Following technological trends in the industry, La Prensa introduces a new model of accessing its digital platform, which to our audience’s benefit remains committed to quality, professionalism and independence [of the press].

La Prensa Combines Digital Access and Discount Club

In a subscription model similar to that of the New York Times, La Prensa is offering combinations of content access and discounts at affiliated stores, restaurants, and travel agencies.

Subscription products range from $78 for a year of unlimited access to $143 for home delivery, discount club membership, and online access to La Prensa as well as to Prensa Corporation’s Mi Diario tabloid and magazines. The New York Times charges $195 a year for unlimited access to its content and discount club membership.

Initial reactions from online readers to the announcement ranged from predictions that many readers will move on to rival newspapers to observations that many newspapers, including the New York Post, had tried and failed to prop up falling circulation with a pay wall.

Image of a letter from La Prensa Corporation announcing the launch of a pay wall for online access to the newspaper.

Independent Voice for Democracy

La Prensa was established by Roberto Eisenmann Jr. during a military rule as an independent, pro-democracy daily. Since the first issue hit the streets in August 1981, La Prensa’s critical coverage of various military regimes and investigative journalism that uncovered corruption have led to persecution of its editorial teams and even a brief closure of the newspaper in 1988.

La Prensa is the only Panamanian reporting partner in the year-long investigation into the Panama Papers. La Prensa is widely considered Panama’s newspaper of record.

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