Another Brick in the Paywall: Economist Edition

A week from today, The Economist will begin experimenting with a new paywall system. The magazine’s current wall—which provides non-subscribers with free access to editorial content published within the past year—will now apply to all content that has been on the site for more than ninety days.

More details below, in a letter from publisher Ben Edwards to Economist subscribers:

Dear Reader,

I’d like to inform you about important changes at

Beginning October 13th, we will be limiting access to certain sections of our site to subscribers only. Over the past few years, has become a hub for intelligent discussion, with news commentary, blogs and an award-winning debate series. We will continue to encourage both subscribers and non-subscribers to participate in those conversations. We will also enhance the experience we offer our most loyal readers by expanding our subscribers-only features.

Currently, all content published within the last year is free of charge. Soon, this access will be limited to articles published within the last 90 days. The print edition contents page, which offers a convenient way to browse articles and features from the latest issue of The Economist, will also be limited to subscribers only.

Through these complementary aspects of, we will continue to foster intelligent discussion and debate, while enhancing the value we bring to our community of subscribers.

I hope you’ll continue to visit the site and enjoy all it has to offer.


Ben Edwards, Publisher

So…does The Economist’s content fit Alan Mutter’s fit-to-be-charged criteria? Looks like we’ll soon find out.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.