Northern News Services (NNSL), the territory’s largest newspaper publisher, says it will once again charge for online editions of its newspapers from Monday.
Downloadable PDF versions of each NNSL newspaper had been available for free from the company’s website since mid-March, when Covid-19 forced the suspension of print editions.
Bruce Valpy, the company’s publisher and chief executive, said NNSL needed the money from paid editions of the newspaper to survive.
Writing on NNSL’s website, Valpy said: “We don’t want to do it but if we are to continue bringing you the standard of journalism northerners have come to expect since News of the North was launched 75 years ago, we have no choice but to start charging for the online newspapers.”
Money from subscriptions, Valpy wrote, “is especially important now that many of our advertisers are on the ropes due to the Covid-19 shutdown.”
He added: “You’ll really miss your community newspaper if it’s gone.”
NNSL publishes five NWT newspapers each week: two in Yellowknife, one each in Hay River and Inuvik, and an NWT-wide edition. The company prints two weekly newspapers in Nunavut.
The company’s suspension of print editions lasted for about a month before some of the newspapers resumed print publication.
For the past two months, online sales of newspapers have raised funds for northern food banks.
Most NNSL articles remain free to read on the company’s website, with only the full newspapers themselves behind a paywall. The company chooses some articles each week to hold back until the publication of the full newspaper. Those articles are made available for free at a later date.