Originally Published: July 8, 2018 6:03 a.m.
The Daily Courier and its sister publications publish an average of 100 local stories per week. Along with news reports, our newsroom teams post about 350 additional information items each week on the newspaper’s websites, such as dCourier.com. These include community happenings, letters to the editor, announcements, videos, photographs, and more.
Our journalists share a lot of local stories, and take pride in what they do for the community each day. The work that goes into gathering, fact-checking and publishing those stories is of great importance to us, and we strive to make them interesting and useful for the people who live here. But maintaining such a large effort every day takes a significant investment.
Thus, beginning July 17, only digital and print subscribers will be able to fully access all news stories and features on The Daily Courier website and other sites owned by the Prescott News Network.
“Since the beginning of the internet era most newspapers posted their content online for free,” said Tim Wiederaenders, senior news editor. “But that model is not sustainable for a business to provide the quality, independent journalism a community needs and expects.”
How much will it cost?
Monthly and yearly digital-only subscriptions to dCourier.com will range from $4.99 per month to $50 for a full year.
There will also be single-day passes available for the occasional visitor at $2.49 per day.
Current print edition subscribers can receive a free digital subscription after July 17 by activating their login at CourierFree.com.
Digital-only subscriptions will be available after July 17.
Richard Haddad, news and digital content director for Western News&Info, Inc. (WNI), the Courier’s parent company, compared this change to taking your car to a local repair shop.
“A professional mechanic might be able to provide a small service for free, but to expect them to always fix your car at no charge is not going to keep a good mechanic in town, or provide you with consistent, reliable service when you need it,” Haddad said. “It’s common sense economics that an outdated business model should adapt to maintain stability and quality.”
While many newspapers have made the switch to subscription-based websites years ago, smaller community newspapers have been looking for other ways to support vital newsroom operations. Some newspapers have turned to requiring readers to fill out third-party survey questions and other forms before reading a story. Others have sold what is sometimes called “advertorial” news stories, which is news content paid for and controlled by a company to promote their own goods and services.
“We don’t want to dilute the value of our news reporting or create an unfriendly reader environment by using tricks and gimmicks on our websites,” Haddad said. “After years of researching trends and alternatives, we came back to the logic of selling good value. What our journalists produce is as important and useful as any other professional service in town, whether it’s a mechanic, dentist or contractor.”
“I watch the local newsroom teams work hard every day, striving to give our readers their best and taking pride in what they do,” Wiederaenders said. “It’s a service worth paying for.”
WHAT TO EXPECT
News items that you can expect to find include:
• Breaking News – ranging from traffic alerts to news as it happens;
• Election information, including candidate bios and position statements;
• Trends and changes in property and sales taxes;
• Business and Need2Know items such as new businesses and dispelling rumors;
• Water news – how much we have and where it is going;
• The most comprehensive sports section in northern Arizona, including local, state and national coverage;
• Crime, courts and fire news;
• Education news and features;
• Developments in government, at the local, state and national levels;
• And much, much more.
Our staff will continue to focus on local news. However, with this website change the Courier is also expanding its online coverage by offering more local, regional, state, national and international news, along with additional online features such as more breaking news briefs, videos, galleries, interactive graphics, online maps, audio extras, events and more.
In addition, all website subscribers will have full access to the Courier’s e-edition website and archives which allows readers to view searchable, 3D page-flip versions of the newspaper pages as they were printed.
“We’re grateful to be a family-owned, local news group,” said Kit Atwell, publisher of The Daily Courier and vice president of WNI. “The Courier has served the Prescott area since 1882, and WNI has operated the paper since 1958.
“This is another step forward in the evolution of your primary local news provider. It’s not going to be popular with everyone, but we’re confident most of our readers understand the need for a business to improve and evolve in order to grow with the community.”
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
After July 17, those desiring to continue reading the complete online news editions on dCourier.com can register on the website and select from several affordable subscription offers that provide unlimited access.
Those desiring to continue reading the complete online news editions on dCourier.com can register on the website and select from several affordable subscription offers that provide unlimited access.
Our current print edition subscribers can receive a free digital subscription after July 17 by activating their login at www.CourierFree.com.
The homepage of the websites will still be visible to all visitors, along with some public safety and community alert stories that will remain free. But the majority of daily news reports and other content will require users to purchase a subscription before viewing.
New subscribers can choose to purchase digital-access-only, or combination print-plus-digital packages. Readers who buy a print-plus-digital package will also receive a full complement of additional print features including weekly and monthly magazines, crossword puzzles, comics, TV listings, money-saving weekly coupons, sales inserts and more.
Monthly and yearly digital-only rates for subscribers will range from $4.99 per month to $50 for a full year. There will also be single-day passes available for the occasional visitor at $2.49 per day.
Prescott News Network encompasses The Daily Courier and several weekly publications such as the Prescott Valley Tribune and Chino Valley Review, all of which Prescott Newspapers, Inc. owns.
Websites for all three newspapers, as well as the Courier’s e-edition and archives will be accessible on the same combined subscription website at dCourier.com starting July 17.
For more information about this change, visit our frequently asked questions page at www.dCourier.com/faq.