News in the digital era

I'd heard on the news recently that a few bodies had been discovered behind a shopping plaza in New Britain, Connecticut. Although I watch the news, I hadn't seen many details about the case, just that there'd been some bodies found. Given what little details were available, the entire story could be told by headline alone: Bodies found behind shopping center, police asking public for help. I googled around, but there wasn't much about it anywhere.

Today, however, I found an article with the most detail about the case. Interestingly enough, it's on a website with an Irish address, independent.ie. The article has the most detail I've read to date. This annoyed me. "I have to get news about a town a few miles away from a news website in Ireland?" I asked myself. Then I figured that perhaps I just missed it in the regular news cycle and that it was just eventually picked up overseas as filler.

I checked the local paper in Connecticut, The Hartford Courant. Again, it wasn't anywhere in the headlines. Then, way down below the fold, I found a new article from yesterday, May 11. But when I clicked the article I hit a paywall. There was a free option to read 5 articles a month, or a paid, monthly subscription. Curious, I clicked around on the site. Every article I clicked did not give me the paywall. The only one that did? The article about the serial killer.

I mean, I guess it's not new. Newspapers have long profited off of tragedy, and depended on them to boost sales. But I'm pretty sure a paperboy never said "You can have the article about the dog that can sniff out illegal fish, but you're going to have to pay to hear about the serial killer a few towns away."

Posted on May 12, 2015 .