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Ugandan daily turns to paid subscription model

By Omondi Julius Odera, Kampala, Uganda

New Vision, Uganda’s leading daily newspaper, has disappointed scores of online readers. The paper, which was initially free online, now delivers some of its premium content to paying subscribers only. 

This has not gone down well with the masses. Readers have attacked the newspaper on its comments section online. “To hell with New Vision for making us pay for online papers. Being a national paper we expected you to be free and fair!!!” complained one reader, only known us Alfred.  “Just forget the New Vision - there are other papers and other media where one can get the info. They are getting greedy,” said another reader, Kakirindi. Another online reader, Kidega, also noted: “Oh man, do not worry. You have missed nothing other than errors and plagiarized news. Please there is free worthwhile news on BBC and Yahoo websites.”

The major aim for this move is to generate more revenue. An inside source form the media house explains that this was to basically target the people in the diaspora who were interested in reading the paper but could not access it due to the distance. The source also adds: “Accessing our website of and all the content is free but certain content is reserved for the e-paper, to which one must subscribe to before accessing it. However, some people just comment before understanding what they are commenting about."

The source explains: “The government does not fund the paper as many people allege,but rather it has shares in it, and therefore we have to look for ways of increasing the sales thus the creation of this move.”

It is not yet known if this move will have an impact on the online readership of the paper as its current rival in the market The Daily Monitor has not yet implemented such a move and thus allows the online readers to access their stories without a pay. However, the company seems to be determined with this move, “There is no way one will create a product without getting a negative aspect and we believe that this responses only makes us to better our product and strategize to the next level,” it says. 

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