But the design of the site will hinge, in large measure, on the content the site offers moving forward. The Journal, at the moment, offers its product free online. But newspapers around the country are moving to put at least some of their content behind "pay walls."

The strategy is twofold: it aims to boost the bottom line for websites that have proven poor profit centers; and it seeks to drive some readers back to the more lucrative paper-and-ink version.

As the Phoenix first reported last month on its "Not for Nothing" blog, the Journal is planning a sort of half-step. Newsroom sources say the paper will offer brief versions of its stories on the website for free. The idea is to sate online readers interested in a quick fix, while giving those interested in the complete story a reason to buy online access to the full piece or, preferably, pick up the more profitable print version of the paper.

But getting increasingly harried readers to pay for the "complete" story from a newspaper that no longer delivers the depth it offered up 10 or 20 years ago will be a challenge.

And that makes getting the website right all the more important. Indeed, if Rhode Island's paper of record is to thrive, a stronger site — a site that looks and feels like the rest of the Internet — seems something like a necessity.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
Related: The uncertain future of Rhode Island media, The Providence Journal makes its move, Providencejournal.com arrives with a thud, More more >
  Topics: This Just In , Internet, Media, New York Times,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   LIBERAL WARRIOR  |  April 10, 2013
    When it comes to his signature issues — climate change, campaign finance reform, tax fairness — Whitehouse makes little secret of his approach: marshal the facts, hammer the Republicans, and embarrass them into action.
    A key Brown University oversight committee has voted to recommend the school divest from coal, delivering a significant victory to student climate change activists.
  •   HACKING POLITICS: A GUIDE  |  April 03, 2013
    Last year, the Internet briefly upended everything we know about American politics.
  •   BREAK ON THROUGH  |  March 28, 2013
    When I spoke with Treasurer Gina Raimondo this week, I opened with the obligatory question about whether she'll run for governor. "I'm seriously considering it," she said. "But I think as you know — we've talked about it before — I have little kids: a six-year-old, an eight-year-old. I'm a mother. It's a big deal."
  •   THE LIBERAL CASE FOR GUNS  |  March 27, 2013
    The school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut spurred hope not just for sensible gun regulation, but for a more nuanced discussion of America's gun culture. Neither wish has been realized.

 See all articles by: DAVID SCHARFENBERG