Fort Worth Star-Telegram paywall during COVID-19

After intially lifting the paywall on all coronavirus-related stories, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram decided that as the pandemic went on, the newsroom would start putting some additional stories behind the paywall. Editor Steve Coffman wrote a column explaining the change in clear, straightforward language that told readers about the paper’s funding model while also expressing the paper’s need for support: “This is a matter of survival for the Star-Telegram and other local newspapers,” Coffman wrote. “We have taken a significant revenue hit due to the coronavirus on the advertising side, which is reflective of the struggles local businesses face.”

Project manager Mollie Muchna (she/her) has spent the last 10 years working in audience and engagement journalism in local newsrooms across the Southwest. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she is also an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona’s School of Journalism. She can be reached at and on Twitter @molliemuchna.

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