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Editor hits out at ‘clicks-for-quids’ model as daily brings in new payment system

James Mitchinson 2A regional daily is implementing a daily rate for access to its website in a bid to avoid what its editor called the “dumbing down force of the clicks-for-quids model”.

The Yorkshire Post has announced a new partnership with digital payment system Axate, which is already used by a number of regional press titles as an alternative to digital subscriptions – allowing readers to “pay as they read”.

The Post, which already offers a number of digital subscription packages, says subscribers remain the “lifeblood” of its offering, but is offering the new payment option in order to “share our work as widely as possible”.

In an editorial announcing the new partnership, editor James Mitchinson relayed a story about a link he received from a friend to “some journalism produced by a competitor right here in Yorkshire”.

Wrote James: “Having clicked the link, I was greeted by an article that detailed the ‘horror’ that ensued when a dog devoured a child’s faeces. That was the story.

“He couldn’t resist peppering me with facetious sarcasm as he delighted in warning me: ‘The Yorkshire Post is done for – look what you’re up against!’ But, you see, this is the crossroads we are at when it comes to regional journalism in this country.”

James went on to state the Leeds-based Post’s commitment to “quality, highly trusted, campaigning journalism”, but added current trading conditions “make that mission an unenviable one”.

He said the pay-per-day partnership with Axate will help to maintain the standards set by the Post – dubbed Yorkshire’s National Newspaper – whilst staying true to its “journalism-for-all aspirations.”

He added: “Our subscribers are our lifeblood. They make possible what we do and they remain our absolute priority but we want to share our work as widely as possible in the hope that others will join what we are trying to create.

“In doing this, I hope to be able to one day look back on the regional news landscape and see the Yorkshire Post still standing head and shoulders above its competitors – a beacon of integrity and quality – and say to myself: I knew there was another way, a better way of protecting public interest journalism from the dumbing down force of the clicks-for-quids model.”

HTFP has approached the Post for more information on how the new scheme will work.