Washington Post unveils paid news app for iPhone

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The Independent Online

The Washington Post launched a paid news application for Apple's iPhone and the iPod Touch on Wednesday.

The program, available through Apple's App Store, costs 1.99 dollars to download and offers breaking news, reporting, analysis, features, blogs and other coverage from the newspaper.

"We are thrilled to offer on-the-go readers a rich, streamlined Washington Post news app optimized for iPhone and iPod touch," said Goli Sheikholeslami, Post vice president and general manager for digital operations.

"This is just the beginning for us, as we continue to innovate to appeal to consumers who have growing options about how to get and share the information and content they value," Sheikholeslami said in a statement.

With US newspapers facing a decline in print advertising revenue and circulation and a challenge from free news online, publishers have been searching for news ways to make money.

The Washington Post does not charge readers of its website and Post Co. chairman Donald Graham was quoted as saying Tuesday it has no plans to do so.

Other newspapers are considering charging online readers and The New York Times has announced plans to require a subscription fee for full access to NYTimes.com from early next year.

The Times also has an iPhone application but it is currently free. A Times executive said last month that it has been downloaded more than 3.2 million times.