Johnston Press has become one of the first regional UK publishers to start charging for its online content. Johnston Press owns more than 300 local newspapers including the Yorkshire Post and ‘The Scotsman’. The move will see the publisher put content from six of its titles behind ‘paywalls’. From yesterday, readers of three Johnston titles, the Nothumberland Gazette, the Whitby Gazette’and the Southern Reporter, will pay £5 (€5.40) for a three-month online subscription.
Three other papers, the Carrick Gazette, the Worksop Guardian and the Ripley and Heanor News, will post summaries online and tell readers to buy the paper for the full story.
John Fry, chief executive of Johnston Press, will judge whether the experiment has been a success before deciding whether to extend the scheme.
Mr Fry said local news-papers offered a “unique” service that readers may be prepared to pay for.