Prince Edward Island’s largest circulating newspaper, is going behind a paywall on May 15. The TC Media-owned newspaper publishes six times a week from Charlottetown.

The Guardian, Prince Edward Island’s largest circulating newspaper, is going behind a paywall on May 15.  

The 125-year-old newspaper announced the new digital subscription plan will give non-subscriber access to eight posts a month for free, while the “all access pass” web-only subscription will be offered at 99 cents for the first month and automatically renewed at $8.50 per month. Print subscribers will have unlimited online access. The TC Media-owned newspaper publishes six times a week from Charlottetown.

“Reality is, producing top-quality news content and bringing it to our readers on several different platforms is costly,” said publisher Don Brander in the announcement. “We had to rethink the way we deliver content online because that business model was simply not sustainable any longer.”

The Guardian follows in the footsteps of other Canadian newspapers that have already implemented or will soon erect paywalls, including the Globe and Mail, National Post and Toronto Star. New Brunswick was the first Maritime province where readers had to pay for their news online when the Irving-owned Brunswick News Inc. went behind a paywall in November 2011.

“By moving to a metered website, we are adapting to what is rapidly becoming the industry norm – charging for access to high-quality, original content, reported by local journalists,” said Gary MacDougall, managing editor of The Guardian in the announcement. “Our loyal readers and subscribers won’t be paying anything extra when we move to a metered website. In fact, we plan to enhance their reading options.”

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Here is some of the online reaction to the announcement:

Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.