Seattle Times staffers allowed to opt out of digital subscription requirement

Seattle Stranger reporter Dominic Holden got a tip yesterday about Seattle Times staffers being required to buy a digital subscription to access their paper’s stories. “That would be like installing payphones on everyone’s desk and pocketing the money,” he writes.

Here, in part, is what Times executive editor David Boardman told Holden:

When we went to digital subscriptions, those who already had print subscriptions at home — even if only for the Sunday paper — received full, free access. Those who didn’t were offered deeply discounted print/digital or digital-only subscriptions.

David Boardman

David Boardman

Because full digital access is necessary for everyone in the newsroom, I offered all employees the opportunity to opt out of the subscription requirement if they felt they could not do it for either financial or philosophical reasons, and that we would pay for their subscription. I’m pleased to say that of nearly 200 newsroom employees, only seven took that option. So it’s clearly not a big deal here. Everyone has full access and has since the digital-subscription program began.

* Seattle Times tries charging its reporters to access their website (