We are making changes to the way you pay for our digital news content

THE Rotherham Advertiser is changing its pricing structure for its digital content, making it better value and easier to access.

We have been trialling different price points for some time and have listened to what you, the readers - and those who, for various reasons, haven't paid for content - have said.

From this week we will be lowering the entry point for one-off and occasional content and reducing subscription rates to reward loyal customers.

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The new price will be 20p per article, but after you have accessed five articles in one week at a total cost of £1 you will receive all content for the rest of the week for no extra cost. Even better value, and it will save you time and effort, is our new £3 monthly subscription.

By way of explanation, the reason we charge for online content is so we can pay for the time spent sourcing stories and making them available through our website - and we want to say how much we appreciate the thousands of you who have already signed up.

As so many of you have discovered, you only pay for what you want to see and enjoy the freedom to spend as little or as much as you want on viewing content.

Journalism is a costly business. We are about democracy, providing a platform for the population we represent to voice their opinions, and holding local authorities to account when our community does not believe it has been served well.

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We attend council meetings, courts and inquests and provide a public service that otherwise would not exist in Rotherham.

We have more than 30 salaries to pay. Reporting on Rotherham United, for instance, costs the monthly wage of the reporter, petrol to places such as Portsmouth and Gillingham, the cost of the page designer and photographer, as well as print and paper. 

Incidentally, we will, of course, continue to provide free breaking news regarding incidents that affect, for instance, traffic, but our longer items highlighting planning applications to local authority wrong-doings, court cases, details of what's going on in the local sports scene and our exclusive weekly columns require a small payment.

The Axate system is secure and easy to use, allowing readers to top up an online 'wallet' to read premium articles.

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It is simple to sign up to and inexpensive to use and the income it generates helps sustain our commitment to quality journalism at a time when the reduced number of advertisers supporting the paper alone does not fund this.

Andrew Mosley, Editor, Rotherham Advertiser