Gazette to pioneer subscription venture

The Northumberland Gazette has been chosen to pioneer a new way of accessing its premium content online.

Its parent group Johnston Press has selected three of its weekly titles to offer its news, sport and other 'live' content only to subscribers.

From today (November 30), readers of the Gazette website will only be able to view the first few words of a story before they will be asked to pay 5 quarterly for all premium content on the site.

They will then receive access to the whole site for three months, which still works out at less than the cost of the paper.

Johnston Press says it produces valuable content and is not getting sufficient value from giving it away free on the internet.

It is widely accepted in the industry that online advertising revenues are not covering the costs of the gathering the news and various media organisations are exploring ways of redressing the balance.

Gazette editor Paul Larkin said: "It is exciting for us as journalists to be at the forefront of this venture. All eyes in the media world are on us!"

The look and functionality of the websites will not alter and links will be maintained to our commercial websites, such as iAnnounce, JobsToday, MotorsToday, PropertyToday and CV Match.

The Southern Reporter in Scotland and the Whitby Gazette are the other two online titles that will be operating the 'paywall' system, while the Carrick Gazette, Worksop Guardian and Ripley and Heanor News will be directing readers back to the newspaper after a summary of each story.