Herald online to go behind a paywall

61
1589

By a Newsnet reporter
 
The Herald newspaper has announced that it is to ask readers to pay to view online articles.
 
In a surprise announcement the Glasgow based newspaper informed online readers that it intends to ask for payment in order to view its content.  Users will be able to read 10 articles for free every 4 weeks but will be asked to pay to view more.

By a Newsnet reporter
 
The Herald newspaper has announced that it is to ask readers to pay to view online articles.
 
In a surprise announcement the Glasgow based newspaper informed online readers that it intends to ask for payment in order to view its content.  Users will be able to read 10 articles for free every 4 weeks but will be asked to pay to view more.

The newspaper has witnessed a marked drop in hard copy circulation in recent years and sister paper the Sunday Herald was forced to abandon its traditional broadsheet format in favour of a tabloid magazine style.

The decision to ask online visitors to pay to read content follows a similar decision by the Times newspaper.  It also comes in the wake of figures showing the Scottish newspaper industry struggling to address a haemorrhaging of readership.

In a circulated email, Herald & Times group digital editor, Calum Macdonald, said: “We’ve improved the Scottish politics section to reflect the importance of the big decisions facing our country in the years ahead. Look out for brand new commentators and a live TV feed of all the proceedings at the Scottish Parliament.

“In business, we’ll meet some of the biggest (and smallest) names in the market, with video and quick-fire interviews.

“Rugby fans will applaud our extended reporting of their sport, with a new results service and an in-depth focus on teams across the country. Chris Cusiter, joint Scotland captain, will also be joining our Bloggers.

“And if that’s not enough, keep an eye out for privileges, our membership benefits, with a unique range of offers and events, including books, sport and leisure.”

The papers owners Newsquest were forced to shed jobs in 2006 and again in 2008 as the Scottish newspaper industry took a hit from falling circulation.

This year sales of the Herald recorded a 13.2 per cent drop, going from 52,642 copies to 45,646 copies per day.  Sister paper the Sunday Herald was even worse, 31.4 per cent down – 42,111 to 28,873.

Rival newspaper the Scotsman saw its own daily sales drop by 8.3 per cent, going from 41,758 last year to 38,289 this year.

With polls showing a majority of the Scottish public now in favour of significant constitutional change it remains to be seen whether either of the two daily titles will alter its editorial line and seek the obvious business advantages to be had by embracing devolution-max or even full independence.