An independent weekly newspaper is to introduce a pay-as-you-read system on its website – saying continuing to give away stories for free is “not sustainable.”
The Newbury Weekly News has announced it is bringing in the system, which will allow readers to continue using its site without taking out a subscription.
Users will have to pay 20p to read a single premium article, after which all content will be free for the rest of that day.
Most stories, including breaking news and crime updates, will remain free to access.
Editor Andy Murrill, pictured, said: “The Newbury Weekly News is independent and believes passionately in supporting the community and holding those in power to account – and we want to continue to do so for many years to come.
“Yet, it’s no secret that the journalism industry faces serious challenges. While our website allows us to reach more people than ever before, the simple truth is that giving our stories away for free online is not sustainable – because quality, independent journalism costs money to produce.
“Asking our readers to pay a small fee to read some premium articles on www.newburytoday.co.uk will strengthen our ability to continue to provide high-quality journalism to readers across West Berkshire.”
The system is being introduced in partnership with technology company Axate’s “digital wallet” tool.
Regional news site Cornwall Reports announced earlier this week that it was working with Axate, formerly known as Agate, to introduce a scheme similar to that being implemented by the Weekly News.
Dominic Young, chief executive of Axate, said: “We’re thrilled that the Newbury Weekly News is using Axate to offer customers an option to pay per article.
“Our digital wallet ensures readers can access premium articles without the hassle and cost of multiple subscriptions, and provides a much-needed new revenue stream to publishers.”