Online news registration may not be working [Thanks paidcontent!].
Among the reasons offered are that there’s a lot of false information being posted and people are sharing registrations. Some ten to twenty percent of registered email addresses are bad, and no one knows how much of the demogrpahic data is phony. But newspapers seem to think they need demographics to sell ads.

“Our view is that we need help from you: We’ve got to pay for what we do, we’ve got to convince advertisers into looking at us and tell them that these are the demographics we now know about our readers,” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution ombudsman Mike King] said. “The old standard — advertising geared to people who live in the areas we cover — doesn’t work anymore.”

But Google built the largest, fastest-growing advertising business on the Web without any demographics at all. And a huge chunk of that business is never touched by a sales person.
The other part of the justification is that it’s becoming more expensive to publish a newspaper on the Web. That’s weird. It should be getting cheaper.