Observer-Reporter allows unlimited obituary access

November 5, 2013

Now, any online user may read obituaries on the Observer-Reporter website.

Since the O-R instituted an online paywall in June, only subscribers to the print or electronic edition, or both, could view the full text of obituaries of local residents at Nonsubscribers would see names of the deceased, nothing more.

Visitors to the site may view 10 articles per month for free, but have to pay for anything above that. They can continue to look at the main page and story headlines and synopses without charge, but clicking on a story will result in a view.

The newspaper, however, recently decided to allow unlimited free access to written obituaries.

“I have personally spoken with many readers, both locally and former residents of the area, who are dismayed that the obituaries were placed behind the paywall,” said Lucy Corwin, director of news. “We have listened to our readers, and decided that their concerns and complaints are valid.

“While we remain committed to our new subscription model, we have released the obituaries from behind the paywall, and they can be viewed without limitations.”

The Observer-Reporter publishes a print edition daily. Five months ago, it joined hundreds of newspapers in establishing a paywall, requiring a subscription to read its online product. Print edition subscribers get complete electronic access for free.

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won seven individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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