The Times, they are a-changing

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Last year, The Times bit the bullet and was the first broadsheet to begin charging for access to its online material.

As the recession took its grip and the popularity of smartphones soared, many people turned to the internet for their daily dose of news and broke from the tradition of reading print editions with their breakfast.

Did this initiate the demise of print journalism? Well, warning bells certainly started to ring at many media corporations.

Just this week, newspaper journalism was listed in The Wall Street Journal’s Top 10 dying industries. The Times, which was first published in 1785, vowed that it wouldn’t be left to dwindle along with other papers.  Instead, the long-established paper shifted into the digital realm – charging subscribers £2 for weekly access.

Arguably, this was the most sensible decision the newspaper could have made.

In the past four months, The Times and The Sunday Times have seen a 60 per cent growth in online subscribers and they now have 79,000 combined monthly readers.

Since The Times’ pay wall was introduced, other publications have followed suit and there is an array of digital magazines and publications for the iPad on the market.

For us PRs, the evolution of digital publications has added value to all coverage that appears online. The significance of being able to instantly click through to client company websites is indispensible and securing online coverage is now an integral part of our job.

According to the saying, the best things in life are free, but we PRs agree that news is too worthy a commodity for that.