As­so­ci­ated papers re­veal new web­site

Record Observer - - Opinion -

CH­ESTER­TOWN — The Record Ob­server and its sis­ter Mid-Shore news­pa­pers un­veiled a new look Mon­day, June 6, for their um­brella web­site, www.myeast­ern­, that will make read­ing lo­cal sto­ries even eas­ier on mo­bile de­vices.

The Record Ob­server also is bring­ing back its old web ad­dress, www.recor­dob­server. com, tak­ing read­ers to a home­page ded­i­cated to the im­por­tant news af­fect­ing Queen Anne’s County.

The up­date of the web­sites’ TownNews plat­form fea­tures bolder photos, which are eas­ier to flip through, and au­to­matic re­siz­ing de­pend­ing on the de­vice ac­cess­ing the site.

In con­junc­tion with the up­date, the news­pa­pers’ pub­lish­ing com­pany, APG Me­dia of Ch­e­sa­peake, has de­cided to move on­line con­tent to a pay­wall sys­tem with some ex­cep­tions.

Edi­tors have the abil­ity to put break­ing news that im­pacts the com­mu­nity’s safety and sto­ries that help read­ers un­der­stand mean­ing­ful events out­side the pay­wall. The edi­tors also will se­lect other fea­tures reg­u­larly to stand out­side of the pay­wall, free for any­one to view.

At the same time, the pay­wall will help the news­pa­pers re­tain rev­enue in a still re­cov­er­ing lo­cal mar­ket.

Print sub­scribers will con­tinue to have free ac­cess to the news­pa­per’s on­line con­tent un­der the new model and will only have to sign up for an ac­count. Those who don’t cur­rently have an ac­count for www.myeast­ern­ but have a print sub­scrip­tion are en­cour­aged to en­roll.

An on­line-only sub­scrip­tion to www.myeast­ern­ and www.recor­dob­, al­low­ing a year’s worth of un­fet­tered ac­cess to all of the papers’ cov­er­age on­line, costs $35.99. Ad­di­tional on­line sub­scrip­tion op­tions are: • On­line-only ac­cess for one month, au­tore­new: $2.99

• On­line-only ac­cess for one day, sub­scribe or re­new: 99 cents

• On­line-only ac­cess for one month, sub­scribe or re­new: $5.99.

A one-year, in-county print sub­scrip­tion to the Record Ob­server for car­rier de­liv­ery is $35 and for mail de­liv­ery is $54, and in­cludes full ac­cess to www.myeast­ern­ and www.kibay­

Since in­stalling the pay­wall model last month, sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion the Ce­cil Whig has al­ready gained a few hun­dred sub­scrip­tions. While some may be­lieve that ad­ver tise­ments should pay for an all-free on­line model, the truth is that on­line ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enue, es­pe­cially for com­mu­nity news­pa­pers like the Record Ob­server, Ce­cil Whig and Star Demo­crat con­tin­ues to be very small when com­pared to print ad­ver­tis­ing.

His­tor­i­cally, sub­scrip­tions merely helped sub­si­dize the cost of de­liv­ery to a reader’s home, whereas ad­ver­tise­ments have paid the salaries of those who write, edit, pag­i­nate and print the work. While sub­scrip­tions have plateaued and more read­ers seek free on­line al­ter­na­tives, how­ever, the cost of dis­tri­bu­tion only rises in to­day’s world.

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