The Wall Street Journal will introduce a system of micro-payments for access to articles on its website, becoming the first newspaper to charge readers for individual stories. The service will target casual users unlikely to pay more than $100 for an annual online subscription, editor-in-chief Robert Thomson told the Financial Times. The price of an article hasn't yet been set, but Thomson said it would be "rightfully high."
Thomson's announcement of a micro-payments system follows earlier statements by owner Rupert Murdoch that his papers would begin charging for online access. Since his acquisition of the Journal the price of the print edition has increased 21%, while advertising has fallen by a third in the first quarter of 2009 alone.