According to a Facebook post on the Sedalia Democrat's website, the local paper will implement a paywall on their website starting Monday, July 30.  The cost will be $5 a month to view stories on the content.  Subscribers will receive free access to the site.

Reaction to the Facebook post by the Democrat has resulted in overwhelmingly negative comments.  Various members of the Democrat staff have defended the decision to charge users for viewing their content.

"People are not 'entitled' to free news. It costs money to research, it costs money to write it, and that should be compensated," wrote Richard DeFord, Interactive Systems Director for the Sedalia Democrat.

"I realize people have gotten used to getting content for free online, but it simply is not a sustainable business model," commented Bob Satnan, editor of the paper. "This move will help us continue to provide local coverage going forward."

The Sedalia Democrat also plans on making major changes to the website and says it will look "totally different" over the next month.  These changes include optimizing the paper's mobile version of the site, which will also be restricted via paywall.

Starting July 30, current subscribers to the Sedalia Democrat will need their account number (also known as a subscriber number) in order to access the site.  If you do not know your account number, you can call the Sedalia Democrat office at 660-827-4400 to retrieve the number.

Editor's Note: Here at Townsquare Media, we believe in keeping the community connected by providing online access to local news and current events.  There are no plans to implement a paywall on our websites.  We will continue to work our hardest to provide this content online at no charge to our users.

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