PINE RAPIDS, Iowa – Having experienced yet another money-losing quarter, the Pine Rapids Weekly Gleaner has decided to follow the lead of such papers as the New York Times and implement a paywall.
“Let’s face it,” said Editor Dwight Turnbull. “In this 21st century age of multimedia platforms, you can’t compete unless you force the reader to pay his fair share.”
Given that the Weekly Gleaner is distributed free of charge and has not yet created a Web edition, it was unclear how its paywall was going to work.
“What we’ve done,” said Turnbull. “Is to create a mechanical paywall. Each copy of our paper edition is stapled together with large industrial staples.”
The only way to remove the staples and access the print content within is to purchase an industrial strength staple remover from a coin-operated vending machine found next to each newspaper vending machine.
“We thought about actually charging for the paper instead,” said Turnbull. “But that would have meant installing coin-operated devices on each of our newspaper vending machines. It was easier just to buy new vending machines for the staple removers.”
In a related story, media conglomerate Iowa Press International has withdrawn its offer to purchase the Pine Rapids Weekly Gleaner.