On 10th Anniversary Online, Polish Paper Begins Charging for Archives

Celebrating its tenth anniversary of publishing on the Web but without profiting from banner advertising during that period, the Polish daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita on its online anniversary began charging for access to its online news archives. To access its archives, a customer uses a mobile phone to send an SMS message to a number listed on the newspaper’s Web site and in return gets a password — a micro-transaction method that’s becoming popular among European online newspapers. The Warsaw Business Journal reports that online advertising in Poland last year totaled only 33 million zlotych (US$8.8 million) and how little of that went to online newspapers. Gazeta Wyborcza had the largest share, with 2 million zlotych (US$534,000). Rzeczpospolita was the first Polish daily newspaper online, launching Rzeczpospolita Online in 1993.