10:34AM, Wednesday 06 May 2020
Over the last month, you may have seen some messages appear on our website asking readers to support us by making a voluntary payment when reading articles online.
In March, we took the decision to move to a ‘pay if you can’ model, which gives readers the option to pay for a story and support independent local journalism at a time when it is of the utmost importance.
Newspapers are facing a threat to their future as the coronavirus pandemic continues to have a severe impact on all of our lives.
Many businesses that traditionally advertise with local newspapers – including shops, hairdressers, restaurants, garages and estate agents – are unable to do so during lockdown, while advertising industry ‘blocklists’ are preventing many adverts from appearing alongside online stories about coronavirus.
This has decimated advertising revenue – our main source of income – creating one of the most challenging periods in the Advertiser’s 150-year history.
Despite this, our mission remains unchanged.
Our reporters, now working from home, are doing everything they can to bring you the latest news and information during one of the most significant global events in living memory.
The ‘pay if you can’ model, which uses the Axate payment system, ensures important updates about the COVID-19 pandemic can reach a wide audience while also giving readers the chance to help ensure we can keep this coverage going.
Some readers have incorrectly assumed this system is a paywall, blocking access to full stories unless they are paid for. This is not the case.
While the message does appear on most of our online stories, payment is optional and readers can still read all our articles online for free if they wish.
We recognise not everyone is in a position to pay in these troubling times, so you can still continue to a story by clicking ‘no thanks’ when the message appears.
For those of you who can pay, please consider signing up and help protect the future of local journalism.
We need your support now more than ever, and in exchange we will continue to do our very best to represent our communities and bring you vital information throughout this pandemic.
Baylis Media Ltd
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