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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Marshall Democrat-News announces improvements

Monday, October 1, 2012

Today's front page, web version.
Today's front page, print version.
Publisher Shelly Arth announced today The Marshall Democrat-News is about to embark upon a new direction in delivering local news to readers.

In the 12 years since the paper began dual print/web publication, some local content has been published only in the print edition -- weddings, births, engagements, anniversaries, court reports and more.

In a move designed to enhance the value of the company's online publication, on Monday, Oct. 1, all local content produced by the news staff will be made available on the website.

To enable the new approach, the MDN will join hundreds of newspapers across the country in charging a small fee for access to some online content.

Current print subscribers will enjoy unlimited access to website content as part of their basic subscription, but online-only users will be asked to pay a modest subscription fee after surpassing a certain number of story views per 30-day period.

In other words, subscribing to the print version of the MDN, which includes many features unavailable online -- like coupons, pre-print inserts, comic strips, letters to the editor and much more -- just became even more valuable. And subscription to the website, which will now include comprehensive local news and feature coverage, has become more valuable, too.

To gain premium access, print subscribers must register at www.marshall

news.com/access or call 1-800-444-4812.

By doing so, not only will print subscribers be able to access all premium content on marshall

news.com whenever they want -- from breaking news to photo galleries to blogs to conversations about stories but they will be able to access it however they want.

If you are not a home delivery subscriber, Arth said that you will have free access to a limited number of articles each month.

At several points up to the limit, you will be offered subscription options, either an online access-only subscription or print subscription including unlimited online access.

If you exceed the limit, you will be asked to become a digital or print subscriber in order to receive more content.

Arth said she believes most people will understand why the MDN is moving to a pay system for online content. Maintaining a professional staff to provide timely, accurate and reliable content cannot be supported solely by online advertising.

In launching the pay system for its web site, the MDN joins newspapers small and large who have recently done the same thing.

"We are pleased to offer our loyal print readers the additional benefit of unlimited access to our online product at marshall

news.com in conjunction with their subscription. Online followers will now have even more information available to them 24/7 and can select viewing options that suit their individual news and advertising needs," Arth said.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on marshallnews.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

To anyone who is running into trouble with the new subscription system, I think we have a solution, thanks to a subscriber who called in just now and provided more details.

Once you have logged into the website with your regular user ID (missy08, for example, or Oklahoma Reader), that's it. You're in. If you're paid up, you get unlimited access. If not, you'll eventually run into the paywall.

If you click on the e-edition login, you'll go to a different place. I should have realized there might be some confusion about this. The website and the e-edition are similar products but delivered by different means.

The website is the same as it always has been, but with more content.

The e-edition, which we've had for several years, is hosted by another company, Tecnavia. Subscribers to the e-edition get the newspaper exactly as it appears in print, but through web access to PDF files. It's not interactive. There are no comment features in the e-edition. It's a digital version of the paper.

Check out the images associated with this story as an illustration of the difference between the two.

If you're a print or online subscriber, go to marshallnews.com as you've always done and login as normal.

-- Posted by Eric Crump on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 9:28 AM

So if I pay for the online version, does this mean legitimate questions asked about crime statistics and solved crimes would then remain in the comment section instead of being deleted? You can not make a legitimate question or make a legitimate statement about an elected or public official on here, it will be deleted. So does that change if I pay? I'm not talking slander or liable, I'm talking about asking questions of officials. I asked what the stats for burglary was in the county, and yes it was promptly deleted. Please let us know, so we can decide whether to subscribe.

-- Posted by Gumby on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 10:03 AM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
We have not discussed making any changes to our policies regarding comments. I don't recall the specific case you refer to, but I can say that it sometimes happens that comments with legitimate questions get deleted because they *also* contain some other element (insult, innuendo, speculation, etc.) that we would rather not allow.

As always, questions, rumors, accusations, and news tips of all kinds can be sent to me at ecrump@marshallnews.com or by calling 660-886-2233.

Text alert subscribers will not be affected by the new subscription arrangement.

-- Posted by Eric Crump on Tue, Sep 25, 2012, at 8:59 AM

Will this have any effect on the text message alerts?

-- Posted by JClover on Sun, Sep 23, 2012, at 5:18 PM

Miss M, sorry for the confusing cross reference in response to your comment. It is so convoluted, and unfunny upon reflection that it isn't worth explaining. I do need to say no offense intended to you G. McFly you were just a prop.

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 3:30 PM

Thanks Miss Marple. Not to worry, it was just a mcfly buzzing on the wall, and it will be gone this fall. ;)

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 12:30 AM

Guess it is time to pony up folks. All these years we have had free access to what those who get the print version have been paying for. Good things must come to an end. I like the newspaper site best as their stories have more details with photos and the opportunity to comment on stories. Can't get that on other local sites. And, the newspaper site was the only local site with Bueker being locked down.

-- Posted by JD Gator on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 6:18 PM

And while I'm at it, I'll throw in my two cents and say I think this is something the paper really has to do. It may certainly cut down on the people who comment, but in some cases, that will be a big improvement in my opinion. It will cost something to lob in the occasional conversational bomb that's only intended to stir the pot and be unpleasant. I think that's a good thing.

-- Posted by Miss Marple on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 2:31 PM

Geez, Bcat. that crack to Oklahome Reader was even snarkier than your usual. I think an apology is in order.

-- Posted by Miss Marple on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 2:17 PM

Yes pot pie, I do enjoy my McDonalds. Don't eat it 3 times a day like I did in high school, but the once every couple weeks I go get a burger and fries is something i greatly enjoy!

-- Posted by oldschool17 on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 1:24 PM

Some people feel the need to complain about anything and everything.

-- Posted by Tigers/Owls4Life96 on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 11:32 AM

I understand exactly why the MDN is doing this and honestly I can't find a reason not too. We are lucky to have a local newspaper in a town this size and honestly I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner. I think $9/month is a pretty reasonable price for the people that use it frequently. I myself read articles daily so it is well worth it too me, I'll just knock off two trips to McDs each month. I would ask how much is a an actual paper subscritipion? I haven't had that since I was a kid, but if it's not more may as well just get both.

Yes the MDN will loose some viewers, but they'll make more money and be able to stay in business and keep good reporters hired. It's a sound business idea and I don't see how anyone can argue that. Just remember it's a business, if the place you worked raised prices a little bit and gave you a pay raise I doubt you'd ever complain!

-- Posted by oldschool17 on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 8:31 AM

Bcat, and will we continue to be honored by your eloquent presence? Excuse me, what you choose to say, or not to say is none of my business. But then that cuts both ways doesn't it?

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 11:50 PM

Oklahoma Reader,

You stated that if you find yourself speaking into a vacuum, you will likely cancel your commentary here. Is that a threat or a promise?

-- Posted by Bcat on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 11:33 PM

Whatever the charge is, its not worth it.

-- Posted by Lulawissie on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 11:29 PM

Bye McFly. We will miss your comments. I hope you don't miss too much the opportunity to say what's on your mind, to rant to your hearts content as people actually pay attention to what you say.

A word of caution, don't take it out on your wife, she has her own problems, and doesn't need to hear the stuff you post here.

I suggest that you instead just mumble to yourself when you feel the need to vent. Of course that's easy for me to say. When you get to my age you can walk down a crowded street mumbling "the s.o.b.s" to your hearts content, and most won't think a thing about it. You see they are used to old geezers that talk to themselves. If you are younger I guess you will need to come up with an alternative. Let me know how it comes out. ;)

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 11:19 PM

One other point to ponder; we subscribe to the print edition of the Sunday New York Times. It costs us thirty dollars per month.

For that we get the pleasure of the audible crinkle, and the smell of the paper in our hands as we engage in the American tradition of lolling in our loungers of a Sunday morning, sipping coffee, or Bloody Marys, sharing information, and discussing it, as we glean it from the multiple sections of the nation's paper of record.

In addition we get the complete paper every day of the week via online "Times Reader". There are a few other fringe benefits, but I won't detail those.

In addition to what we get, we receive pleasure from what we give. The newspapers of our nation are beleagured as we transition to a printless society. By paying a relatively small fee we do our part to delay the demise of print journalism. I am hopeful that other oldsters like me will do what they can to maintain our tradition, until the end of our days. Thus I ask you to consider paying the monthly nine dollar fee, if you can afford it. Try it, and if it doesn't meet your needs then cancel. Change deserves a chance.

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 9:43 PM

Ahhh....wait...captive audience.

Now I get the thinking behind the $9.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 8:42 PM

$9 per month? Good luck, Eric.

Many larger papers charge half of that or less.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 8:40 PM

I will probably pay the monthly fee for online access. I have not made a final decision yet. However, if I find that I am speaking into a vacuum, and the give, and take on the blogs is severely diminished, I will likely cancel my commentary here, as well as my online subscription, and pursue other available options.

Perhaps I am being vain, but it is my opinion that there are a goodly number of folks who post on the blogs whose commentary is of such quality that it draws attention from others to the online paper. I don't know if this is throwing out the baby with the bath water, or not. We shall see. There is nothing surprising about this. The only constant is change. I can roll with that. :)

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 8:39 PM

You can quit throwing me the "free" paper on Wednesday too. Mine just go straight to recycle. You can't get them stopped throwing them even when you are out of town. Put some out where people who want them can pick them up.

-- Posted by Pasta on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 7:57 PM

It is hard for a newspaper to make money and this is just another way to help bring revenue in, I howyever believe this it their right to do it I was wondering how much for a print subscription and should I just go to thesquare and signup?

-- Posted by Jason1969 on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 6:36 PM

This is nothing new. As stated, other news sources have been doing it for some time. You only have to decide if it is worth it. It will be difficult for some and others it won't bother much. Decision time.

-- Posted by red dog on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 4:13 PM

What about the blog...will we still be able to comment on the blog for free? Or will that be behind the paywall?

I have to say, when our local paper went to this model, I just stopped going to that website for content - I cancelled my subscription (which was Sat/Sun only), too. I hope this doesn't backfire on the MDN.

-- Posted by koeller77 on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 3:56 PM

I don't particually like the idea of being charged to view the newspaper online, not everyone can afford the newspaper but yet they have a computer and are able to view it online. I'm one of those people that enjoy reading the paper online because I'm unable to pay for a subscription and I'm sure there are plenty of people that are in the same boat as I am.

-- Posted by angelpuss34 on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 3:12 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
Not all content will be behind the paywall, and readers will be able to view up to seven pages free every 30 days.

Good luck.

From the article, "To enable the new approach, the MDN will join hundreds of newspapers across the country in charging a small fee for access to some online content."

Have you asked any of those hundreds of newspapers whether or not this worked?

I have had some recent experience with this from a couple of other newspapers out of state. When they implemented online fees, their online "click" rates (viewers per day) dropped to 10% of what they formerly were and virtually only 1 in 100 of the former viewers subscribed.

But good luck with this. I reckon you will have significantly fewer comments on this website to worry about or deal with.

"As we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs want to see

How much you'll pay for what you used to get for free"

- Tom Petty

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 3:10 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
Yes. We understand the new system is working well at other papers.

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