Associated papers reveal new website
CHESTERTOWN — The Record Observer and its sister Mid-Shore newspapers unveiled a new look Monday, June 6, for their umbrella website, www.myeasternshoremd.com, 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.myeasternshoremd.com but have a print subscription are encouraged to enroll.
An online-only subscription to www.myeasternshoremd.com and www.recordobserver.com, 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.myeasternshoremd.com and www.kibaytimes.com.
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.