Miami Herald asks readers for donations

The Miami Herald has taken a surprise step in its attempt to combat diving circulation numbers and boost online earnings, by asking its readers for handouts.

MiamiHerald.com, "South Florida's most-read news destination on the web," added a tab to its news stories on Tuesday directing readers to offer a donation using their credit cards.

The newspaper, which is owned by the McClatchy Company, said: "If you value The Miami Herald's local news reporting and investigations, but prefer the convenience of the internet, please consider a voluntary payment for the web news that matters to you."

The industry has looked for alternative sources of funding in the wake of the worst advertising downturn in living memory. Titles at Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, including The Times, are set to be put behind paywalls next year.

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