New journalism jobs are set to be created as a regional daily prepares to reach 1,000 paying online subscribers.
The Bolton News has announced the creation of two new roles – a dedicated online news reporter and a digital sports reporter – after 900 readers took out subscriptions on its website.
The News offers monthly subscriptions at £4.99, although they are only £2 for the first two months, and annual packages at £52 per year.
The newspaper says the money raised from reaching the 1,000 mark will effectively fund the new journalists and it is already in the process of hiring them.
“We are always looking at ways we can improve the experience of reading The Bolton News – whether that is online or in print.
“Now we are aiming to bring in some new features – including more sport, more audio, and subscriber-only ‘premium content’ – as well as changes to our comments section.”
The new premium content will include more audio offerings for subscribers and a planned dedicated app which will give readers access to an e-edition of the newspaper.
Steve went on to reveal a new comments policy due to a “frankly embarrassing playground squabbling between a minority of users”.
He added: “We firmly believe that the minority is spoiling it for everyone else. However, we will not hesitate to clamp down further on comments if the problem persists.
“From now on, we will be taking a more pro-active approach to comments. There will be some stories where the comments are disabled – because we believe they will attract negative comments.
“This does not mean you won’t be able to comment at all on our site – but there may be certain stories that do not have that option.
“This could include court cases, where comments can not only frequently become abusive, but could also prejudice a case; or it could be that the subject is deemed too sensitive in the first place; or it might be that we have allowed comments on a story but they have then gotten out of hand.
“We will, however, endeavour to keep comments enabled on all our premium content — meaning subscribers will be able to comment on those stories.”