By: Malcolm Kelner
Readers of The Berkeley Beacon’s online page were met with an unwelcome surprise this morning.
Instead of the usual white interface with the deliciously simple, user-friendly, and interactive format Emerson students and millions of others had come to know and love, visitors were teased with that for only a second. Next, a huge black box popped up, covering the entire screen, inviting visitors to pay exorbitant amounts to continue reading.
We contacted Renee Durham, Editor in Chief of the Berkeley Beacon, to explain the head-scratching new development.
“It was a simple matter of supply and demand,” Durham said. “When you’re putting out a product of as much value as The Berkeley Beacon, people are just going to have to pay for it this year.”
“Now, for less than the price of a cup of coffee every day, readers can have 24/7, unlimited access to The Berkeley Beacon.”
The decision by the staff of the paper is being questioned by many at Emerson, as it is now the only college newspaper in the country to charge money. Plus, the prices the Beacon is charging are far greater than the notable nationwide newspapers with online paywalls.
“Listen, we’re not claiming to have content on par with the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, or Boston Globe,” Durham explained. “We’re better. None of those publications have the same hard-hitting, relevant stories that we do.”
Durham was presumably talking about stories such as the explosive report that revealed Emerson has a lack of diversity, the snow day interactive calculator that had Mother Nature herself quaking in her boots and scrambling to come up with refund checks, and the constant back-and-forth op-eds bitching about the SGA.
“Need I remind you the snow day calculator won an Evvy?” Durham shrewdly finished.
At press time, no one had paid for access to The Berkeley Beacon.