After a decade establishing this website, and after two years of putting Free Press content online for free, we've decided to set a slightly different course.
Bruce Owen's Saturday Special on the creation of the new Police Services Act will not be available on our website this weekend. And Sunday's behind-the-scenes look at the new Hydro building downtown will be print-only as well. They will still be available, of course, to subscribers to our PDF version, the E-edition.
We're also removing comics and puzzles from the website beginning Saturday, due to syndication rights that only allow us to provide them to newspaper subscribers. For subscribers who want their puzzles online, we're working on a password to access this content, but for now, you can only get this stuff in your morning newspaper or in our E-edition.
This doesn't sound so radical to me, but it does to our online editors, who have warned that it may cause a minor furor.
And it reflects an ongoing debate in the entire newspaper industry these days -- as circulation declines, and more of our readers go online, is it wise to put all of our content online for free?
We've built the best local news website in the province over the past 10 years. We have the biggest local news team in the province, and they've worked very hard to make this happen. And it's the advertisers and the subscribers that have supported our work since the Free Press was founded, some 136 years ago.
So today and moving forward, we're going to start keeping some enterprise journalism where it belongs, in the newspaper only.
It makes sense. This website has all kinds of exclusive content.
We've lodged a webcam on the Esplanade Riel that's broadcasting 24-7 to our online audience as the flood sweeps through Winnipeg's downtown (that 105 people are watching as I write this).
We've also got a great collection of breaking-news videos and slide shows, and an irresistible set of time-lapse videos from Mike Deal that show the Red River growing from late March through April.
If you want breaking local news, come here.
If you want to read all this newspaper has to offer, pick one up. It's still the best deal in town.