Starting in April, the Great Bend Tribune will make a change in how it posts stores to its website.
Under the new system, site users will be allowed access to any 10 articles free within a 30-day period. Once they have reached that limit, future articles will be locked until the end of the 30 day time period and they will be advised of how to subscribe.
“This move puts us more in line with what other area daily newspapers are doing,” said Tribune Publisher Mary Hoisington. “This has become the industry norm.”
Other major papers that cover the area have gone to the same system. Many national publications have also made the change.
But, Hoisington said, it is about more than aligning with the new normal. It is about better meeting the needs of the Tribune’s readers.
“It will give users a better choice of what they want to see,” she said. Under the old system, the Tribune news staff only posted two or three select stories per day that were not behind the pay wall. But now, the casual user will have access to all the content, albeit on a limited level.
“It is important to remember all Tribune print subscribers have free unlimited online access,” Hoisington said.
Tribune Managing Editor Dale Hogg said the entire news landscape is changing and this allows the paper to better meld into the present. “As social media plays a larger role in the distribution of news, we are working toward a strategy that will protect our news franchise without impeding the social network of our content.”
In addition, this allows the website to be more visually attractive and increase ease of use, he said. “It gives the community at large more choice in the content they access.”
“It is the natural next step in maximizing our news coverage and growing our subscriber base,” Hoisington added. “With technology comes new ways of doing things.”