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By Keith Stride for Memorial Post

Anyone living in Winnipeg Canada will tell you about how their city’s main newspaper, the Winnipeg Free Press, is now anything but free. Like many other newspapers struggling to survive in the new digital economy the WFP now requires readers to pay a fee anytime they view an article online.

Okay this is nothing new. But in Winnipeg this now means that any time an obituary is shared online readers have to choke back their grief long enough to cough up some cold hard cash.

We get that newspapers have been struggling ever since the world went online. But obits? Really? After all, the family has already paid a significant sum for their tribute to appear in the paper, now their friends and family have to pay even more to read it.

Unfortunately this is a trend that’s bound to continue until newspapers ultimately succumb to their long term illness and go the way of poor old Auntie Rosie.

2 thoughts

  1. How would this be different from someone purchasing the paper to see an obit? Unless they are getting subsidies like CBC, I don’t really see the issue. You can always move to China where the papers are free but the media isn’t.

    • Thanks for the comment Jeremy.

      The difference is this: Unlike regular editorial content, someone has already paid anywhere from $300 to $700 for the obituary to appear in the paper. By charging friends and family to view the obituary is essentially “double-dipping”.

      I have no idea whether or not this happens in China – but I have heard that funeral directors spend a lot of time strolling the hallways of hospital palliative wards. I don’t plan to move there anytime soon.

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