Changes coming to The Guardian's website

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Beginning May 15, The Guardian’s website will be launching its new digital subscription plan

Subscribers to The Guardian will have an All Access Pass which will give them full access to the print, e-edition as well as the website at no additional costs. The Guardian is available on desktop or any web-enabled device.

The Guardian is set to begin a new chapter in the delivery of news and information across Prince Edward Island. Beginning May 15, The Guardian’s website at will be launching its new digital subscription plan using a metered access system.

Subscribers to The Guardian will continue to have complete access to Prince Edward Island’s leading news source across all platforms – paper, E-edition and the website.

The “all access pass” will give subscribers unrestricted website usage, moving them past the metered controls. Non-subscribers will be able to enjoy up  to eight articles, videos or photos per month. To continue reading breaking news, in-depth stories, opinion pieces, videos, photo galleries and reader comments, non-subscribers will be invited to become digital subscribers. The web-only subscription will be offered at 99 cents for the first month, and will be renewed automatically at a rate of $8.50 per month.

Don Brander, publisher of The Guardian, says throughout its 125-year history, The Guardian has always been mindful of the need to continuously transform and reinvent itself to remain relevant both in the changing media landscape and especially to readers.

“Reality is, producing top-quality news content and bringing it to our readers on several different platforms is costly.  We had to rethink the way we deliver content online because that business model was simply not sustainable any longer.”

The Guardian joins a long list of newspapers in Canada and the United States in establishing a metered access system and launching digital subscription plans. That list includes some of the most prestigious newspaper brands in the country, including the Globe and Mail, National Post and the Ottawa Citizen. U.S. papers including the New York Times and L.A. Times are also metering their website content.

“We believe that the steps we’re taking today will allow us to continue delivering the news coverage you’ve come to expect from us and to invest in the future of quality journalism.” Don Brander, publisher of The Guardian

The Guardian’s website remains the most preeminent news website in Prince Edward Island, reaching more than 250,000 unique visitors with more than 2.6 million page views every month.

“By moving to a metered website, we are adapting to what is rapidly becoming the industry norm – charging for access to high-quality, original content, reported by local journalists,” said Gary MacDougall, managing editor of The Guardian. “Our loyal readers and subscribers won’t be paying anything extra when we move to a metered website. In fact, we plan to enhance their reading options.”

Subscribers can go to and click on the “Press +” icon to activate a website subscription on or after May 15. Then, subscribers can truly enjoy The Guardian anywhere, anytime in print, with the E-edition, or on the website, whether it be desktop or mobile.

Added Don Brander, “We believe that the steps we’re taking today will allow us to continue delivering the news coverage you’ve come to expect from us and to invest in the future of quality journalism.”

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Recent comments

  • Bill Kays
    April 28, 2013 - 12:58

    Why gouge the readers? Why not charge extra to the advertisers since that was the original model. Even targeted ads (such as Google Ads) are not immune to price increases. No, this is a money grab, plain and simple. What the Guardian is REALLY MOVING TOWARDS is no local news, period. While it is true that local news stories are covered by the Guardian, that will all change in the future. The newer models show that ad revenues will come mainly international and national corporations. This means that the print industry will fall (and is now falling) the same way television has fallen, under the direct influence of its corporate advertising dollars. This means that no longer will they be able to scrutinize the effects of a particular corporate product, carcinogen, etc. you get the idea. Corporate influence will increase and real journalism will decrease.

  • CBC
    April 27, 2013 - 12:08

    I already deleted the gaurdians bookmark on my browser

    • Borat
      April 27, 2013 - 16:17

      @CBC And that is why you did not leave that comment that I did not just read.

  • april mack
    April 27, 2013 - 08:32

    Sorry to hear this. i wont be subscribing

  • captain canuck
    April 26, 2013 - 14:13

    All the comments in the world don't add up to one person voting with their feet. We'll see. The Guardian can have my $117 a year. The hardcopy subscription is easily twice that and the e-edition doesn't get chewed by the dog and the sports section doesn't go missing. The e-edition also takes less space in the blue-bag.

  • Comments
    April 26, 2013 - 13:24

    If it means the end to this comment section - then I am all for it

  • Back to you Guardian
    April 26, 2013 - 10:29

    I'll try to post this again; seems either the content or my ability to post is problematic. For most people who want to access their news digitally, this move on the Guardian's part is moot - we have the skills and knowledge to go elsewhere. Personally, I would have no problem paying $8.50 per month to gain access to the news The Guardian is publishing. However, why would I pay to again access to their advertising? But really, I am glad The Guardian is moving in this direction because it will create opportunities for others to begin crafting out more interactive, interesting and informative access to information. To make the paper version a digital version without fully utilizing the features of what the digital medium offers is, well, really stupid. It's sort of like a company changing production from buggys to cars, but still requiring the horse pull their cars. This move will incrementally push Islanders towards either the free news apps readily available or influence us to pay for news apps that are free of advertising and that are bundled with many useful interactive features, features a paper versions can't offer. So, good luck Guardian you've just entered the 20th century . . . too bad we don't live there anymore.

  • Piet Hein
    April 26, 2013 - 10:23

    The Guardian is a business and needs to make money. By charging less than $10 per month for an online subscription I doubt the newspaper is going to add a lot to its bottom line, but it is the principle that counts. The Guardian pays staff to produce its online content and there are other expenses as well in doing this. Why should the newspaper give its product away free? Try getting a load of free groceries from Sobeys or a double double free from Tims and see how far you get. When was the last time your mechanic said no charge for fixing your car? The Guardian offers a product that the majority of Island readers will be more than willing to pay for. When you look at it the online Guardian still has plenty of content that is free. There are less and less things for free on the web and for less than $10 per month where are you going to get all that local news. World news is available all over the place, but the Guardian's mandate is to provide local news and it does that in spades and it is available no where else.

    • to concerned islander
      April 26, 2013 - 12:39

      your examples are not bullying...not even a modern day definition

  • mary
    April 26, 2013 - 09:30

    Sorry to hear charges are in store. I enjoyed your news. thank you.

  • don
    April 26, 2013 - 09:03

    monopoly is by trans global that should never have been aloud but i guess yo grease the right wheels you can do anything. i can remember when they stopped kc from having a monopoly. to me i hope this closes this paper. as the bottom line is MONEY just like the government money before people. well owners of the paper without the people you have NO paper.

  • is it worth it?
    April 26, 2013 - 08:09

    I read a few newspapers a day on line, and I subscribed to the Globe and Mail on-line edition. Some of the finest journalists on Earth work for the Globe, as they do for the New York Times. I have read a single article in the Times or Globe that was worth the price of the paper. Ditto The Eastern Graphic and Jack McAndrew's insights into the harper cult. But when I read the Grardian over a coffee at Jars of Clay (never Hortons), a lot of the items and articles in a two-page spread look like a cut-and-paste collage from the CP wire, something Dr. Frankenstein would arrange. Finally, on a small Island, it is a challenge for a newspaper to hold power's feet to the fire, to be honest and brave. Doesn't happen here. I will not subscribe.

  • So sad
    April 26, 2013 - 08:09

    My favorite morning entertainment while having coffee is reading the comments.

  • hmatthewl
    April 26, 2013 - 07:30

    Greed, plain and simple. The Guardian outlet in Charlottetown, is already the most profitable in the chain I will not pay , I'll read the Toronto Star , it's much better :)

  • In tears
    April 26, 2013 - 06:51

    Good bye Guardian.

  • Darren
    April 26, 2013 - 05:53

    I think the Gaurdian is going to alienate more readers with this new plan than it will gain. Time will tell; but my suggestion to increase revenue for the Gaurdian is to change the editor. Sorry Mr Brander, but the Gaurdian hasn't been delivering the right mix of news for years. Too much local muckraking and not enough National or international news. Good luck though...

  • Just my opinion
    April 25, 2013 - 23:01

    Well that's too bad...and just another way Islanders are being taken for every last penny they have. Sad, I like popping online when I get change throughout the day and seeing updates. CBC it is I guess.

  • Everyone
    April 25, 2013 - 22:43

    Used to deliver the guardian as a kid, always thought it was way overpriced for the product given. Now to pay online as well. Pretty dumb. Any global or national news can be found on cbc. Any local news can be found from your next door neighbor.

  • East Prince Resident
    April 25, 2013 - 20:47

    I'm another online reader who will not pay almost nine dollars a month for the Guardian. That's an additional $117 a year (remember we have to add HST to the rate) JUST for the privilege of reading the Guardian on line. I am already paying to have the bandwidth sent to my home, i wont pay Transcontinental in addition to that. Can I afford it? Sure. Will I pay it? No way in he!!. I stopped reading the NY Time, the Wall Street Journal and the Globe and Mail when they switched to a user fee and have gotten along just fine without them - I will be fine without the Guardian, too. As a Journal Pioneer subscriber, I will be covered when they go to this format, but really, Transcontinental is going to discover Canadians and Islanders don't take kindly to any type of user fee.

  • Jamie
    April 25, 2013 - 20:47

    Not trying to sound to critical, but in my opinion you can get the news at any Timmy's on the island and the people telling the stories do a much better job. Just saying.

  • Peter Llewellyn Georgetown
    April 25, 2013 - 20:19

    hey this works, I am a home subscriber and didn't know I could access the full guardian on line also. Bonus, seems when you pay, you can play . Thanks Guardian

      April 25, 2013 - 20:57

      As a subscriber, you will get full access to our print, e-edition and the website at absolutely no extra charge. Contact Circulation at (902) 629-6003 or to get your e-edition set up. Thanks so much for reading!

  • charles
    April 25, 2013 - 19:50

    I dont buy the Guardian because I see little value in the news they report. I go online and take a quick look at the news but now they want me to pay. Not likely. Good look with this new program but I wont be buying in.

    • jerry
      April 25, 2013 - 20:05

      The problem with the pay wall is that anyone who doesn't buy a subscription to either the paper version or the digital one will have nothing to read. I guess the the paper doesn't get published for free.... It was nice while it lasted though.

      April 25, 2013 - 21:01

      Jerry: The Guardian is installing a digital subscription model or a meter, not a pay wall. So you will still have lots to read. Our homepage and all of our landing pages are excluded from the meter, which means you will still get all our our headlines as well as some other reader features, like obituaries, even after we install the meter.

  • Cb
    April 25, 2013 - 19:43

    lol, well that pretty much ties up me coming to this site. see ya!

  • nitpicker
    April 25, 2013 - 19:26

    I suspect that restricted/paid content will mean some online commentors will "disappear". Here's hoping.

  • This won't work
    April 25, 2013 - 19:01

    Just like the Globe and Mail, I'll stop reading The Guardian too! There are lots of other free sites/ways to get news.

    April 25, 2013 - 18:47

    I'm a descendant of Islanders who lives in the States. I'm active in genealogy and have followed the obits in The Guardian to help with my research. I hope I will still be able to access those from some other site, as there is no way I can afford that kind of money in retirement I've enjoyed keeping up with affairs on the Island, and I'm sorry that will have to end.

      April 25, 2013 - 19:54

      "One from Away" obituaries are not included in the digital subscription/meter, which means you will still be able to access our obituaries without a digital subscription.

  • Charles Foster
    Charles Foster
    April 25, 2013 - 18:39

    .I recognize newspapers are still finding their way in the digital age so I will not mind switching to the subscription service if it means retaining one of my links to the Island while I live away. If it also eliminates having to read many of the negative comments I often see on the website I welcome that. I don't understand why comments that would not be published in the print edition are allowed to be posted here.

  • Misplaced Islander
    April 25, 2013 - 18:28

    Now living in Edmonton, Alberta I read the Journal & Guardian on line to keep up with events back home but not at the cost of $8.50 per month. I, like some others on here will get my news elsewhere.

  • Melissa
    April 25, 2013 - 18:10

    I live out of the country and I always check the Guardian about what is happening on PEI. I will not be paying to read the news when other websites, CBC, has free news about the Island. This is really too bad, The Guardian was such a good spot to get info about the Island. It really is ruining a good thing :(

  • Lydia H
    April 25, 2013 - 17:52

    Some people subscribe over the summer then try to keep up with PEI news via the website over the winter. They won't be paying. They may not even want to keep up their summer subscriptions. Too often the news is a full repeat of another website story (I've checked) so we can just go there for news.

  • Too Bad
    April 25, 2013 - 17:11

    not very smart.... I won't be subscribing, probably not to many will. And when you seen that mistake you made, and make it free again, I still won't come back. You will not fool me.

  • Transplanted Islander
    April 25, 2013 - 16:51

    Other than the obits and headlines, I don't believe I'll get enough to warrant buying a subscription, however I enjoyed keeping in touch with the Island. As part of your revamping, I would suggest a " major " cleanup of archive info. Lots of outdated articles ( ie: Dion Phaneuf injury, Chris Doyle problems, etc...... )

  • peijeremy
    April 25, 2013 - 16:06

    Sorry guardian, but I will not be a digital subscriber. I will get the news elsewhere...Your twitter feeds, facebook... Your site is already full of more money generating ads than I care to count. Bad move...

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    April 25, 2013 - 15:59

    I find it interesting that they say "The Guardian joins a long list of newspapers in Canada and the United States in establishing a metered access system and launching digital subscription plans" what they don't tell you is that Transcontinental owns a lot of those papers that are moving to the metered system. Just how many do they own? I am all for user pay "no matter what the system" as it is more fair to the common person. However what do we do for those who cannot afford to get their news or participate in this public forum? BUT HERE IS THE KICKER. Up until this point newspapers were basically funded by the almighty advertising dollar, thus keeping it free or very inexpensive for most. If we are going to have to pay for a "metered service" then it MUST BE ADVERTISER FREE since the consumer is paying for the bandwidth, etc. or is this just another money grab by a BIG CORPORATION? Once this model is started I am sure many will start up to compete against the Guardian because they do not have a monopoly on "access to high-quality, original content, reported by local journalists". There is very little original investigative journalism taking place anymore.

    • mike
      April 25, 2013 - 20:12

      Blame the internet and Google. Google Ads have scooped up over 20%+ (likely more) of all advertising dollars on the planet in recent years. That wasn't the case 10-15 years ago when the Guardian and newspapers all over the planet still had print editions which brought in lucrative ad revenue. They have to start charging with these paywalls for their content because the advertisers are all going to Google.

  • peijeremy
    April 25, 2013 - 15:57

    Sorry guardian, but I will not be a digital subscriber. I will get the news elsewhere...Your twitter feeds, facebook... Your site is already full of more money generating ads than I care to count. Bad move...

  • Good Luck
    April 25, 2013 - 15:53

    This is ridiculous, and will make a lot of people simply turn to another source for their news. Way to ruin a great thing!

  • intobed
    April 25, 2013 - 15:42

    Just don't screw it up, as so many do trying to make it "better".

  • Jacinta MacIsaac
    April 25, 2013 - 15:39

    Hi, I am a home subscriber and am wondering if my subscription also allows me the online subscription... Thanks

    • Jocelyne Lloyd, web editor
      April 25, 2013 - 16:03

      Hi, Jacinta, if you are a home subscriber, you absolutely have access to both our website and our e-edition. Contact to set up your username and password for the e-edition or if you have any questions. Viewing the website shouldn't change for you. Jocelyne Lloyd, web editor

  • reggie smith
    April 25, 2013 - 15:28

    This won't work because Canadians don't pay for news on the internet. Why not follow googles model and using advertising to earn revenue? The wall street journal couldn't even make this work. Maybe some local bloggers could set up a website and post news themselves and make some money with google ads?