Erecting a pay wall is suicide for The Maui News

On Aug. 1, a person posted on Facebook his reaction to The Maui News’ decision to charge for its online version, i.e., to institute a pay wall.

That same day, 16 people posted 62 comments and answers to his post, some multiple times, some lengthy. Heavy discussion. On Aug. 2, 12 people posted 28 more reactions.

Many commenters agreed that a pay wall for The Maui News online was suicide. Most were unhappy about the death of traditional newspapers. Some had excellent and detailed suggestions for what The Maui News could do to adapt to our new information landscape.

On Aug. 6, Council Member Don Couch devoted his hour on KAOI to a conversation between two residents – the original Facebook poster and a former Maui News employee – about The Maui News pay wall, with call-in comments from others.

After the radio program, seven more people entered the discussion.

One of the reasons newspapers are dying is that you cannot talk to one another on a traditional newspaper. No community discussion allowed.

Sally Raisbeck