Lincolnshire

Seven newspapers introduce pay-as-you read fee for selected articles

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Seven sister newspapers, including four in Lincolnshire, have become the latest regional news titles to introduce a pay-as-you-read online paywall to protect against falling ad revenues.

Iliffe Media newspapers the Stamford Mercury, Grantham Journal, Newark Advertiser, Lynn News and Fenland Citizen have announced the move on their websites. It also includes the Spalding Today website, which hosts content from the Spalding Guardian and Lincolnshire Free Press.

Readers will be able to continue using the sites without taking out a subscription. However, selected articles will now only be made available for a 20p fee.

People reading more than three fee-charging articles in a week will have access to all the premium content, which will be clearly marked. Other content, including breaking news, will remain free to read online.

Editorial director Ian Carter said in a message to readers: “The Iliffe group of newspapers prides itself on serving local communities. We are determined to ensure we are still doing so long into the future, with our readers firmly at the centre of everything we do.

“To help ensure this, some of our websites now charge a small fee for some of our articles. We will be using Axate, a secure system which allows you to pay for individual articles.

“We think this is a great way to pay for anyone who isn’t ready to subscribe yet, and it means we can invest more in the local journalism we know you want and value highly. It makes us less vulnerable to falling ad revenues and more focused on and accountable to our readers.”

The Axate System is already used by titles including the Newbury Weekly News and Cornwall Reports.

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