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Editor launches donation drive to help daily ‘invest in journalism’

James Mitchinson 2A regional daily has launched a plea for donations from readers – but has not ruled out also introducing a paywall at a later date.

The Yorkshire Post is calling on people who read its website to donate a minimum of £5 per month to help it “invest in our journalism for perpetuity”.

The drive was announced this afternoon by Post editor James Mitchinson, who made clear the Leeds-based daily was “not yet” introducing a paywall.

Those who subscribe under the scheme will see fewer advertisements on the paper’s website, with those who donate £10 or more per month also being given access to its app.

In his announcement, James wrote: “Let me be honest (it is something we’re good at around here): I’d like you to consider supporting The Yorkshire Post with your own hard-earned money.

“I would much rather tell you myself what I’m asking: £5 per month. That’s it. At this stage, there is no paywall.

“I’d like to see if the work we have been doing of late is the kind of journalism you might be willing to contribute towards – whatever you think it is worth – in order to protect it, enhance it and ensure it is here to stay.

“If you think we are worth more than £5 per month, you can pay more. Whatever you choose to pay, be assured it gives us the firepower we need to do what you expect of us.

“For some, this will be where they exit stage left. Fine. I know this. For others – those who care about journalism done well – I hope this is where you join us on our mission.

“You will already have noticed on our website new buttons inviting you to subscribe. For now, we are only asking for contributions – this is not a paywall. Not yet.”

Last October James stated his belief he would have to introduce a paywall on the Post’s site, telling the Financial Times he did not think there was an “alternative” option.

Both regional publisher Archant and the Liverpool Echo launched a similar donation scheme earlier this year.

In the announcement, James said he wanted to understand if “some of the humbling compliments we receive via email, in the post and on social media can translate into pounds, shillings and pence that we can invest in our journalism for perpetuity”.

He added: “I hope so. One thing I am sure of is that the journalism done by The Yorkshire Post is worth paying for. I hope you do, too.”