New changes for Journal website

The Journal website is going to paid subscriber only as of the Apr. 23 issue.

Even in Ashcroft, things change. Believe it or not.

I could tell you how drastically my own job here at The Journal has changed since I started working here 10 years ago to emphasize my point, but that might be more than you want to hear.

But I will tell you about our website.

Way back – so far back that I can’t even remember exactly when, but let’s say somewhere around 2005, Black Press set up websites for each of its newspapers and told us to “populate” them. In other words, post our stories and pictures there. So that’s what we did.

Our websites looked pretty rough in the early days. Rough, but simple. Some of our readers loved them; most didn’t know they existed.

They’ve gone through several reincarnations since then as the company has added more features to them, changed certain interfaces. They’ll probably continue changing, since that is the nature of the Internet.

One thing that has always annoyed me about them, though, is that they were free to view. I could never figure out why we charged readers a subscription rate for the paper version, but let anyone who wanted to read it online for free.

I like “free”, and I give my time and expertise freely to many clubs, committees and individuals. But you can’t run a business that way. Either we were doing a disservice to our paid subscribers, or we were going to lose our subscribers once they realized they could get it for free.

Well, that will change with the Apr. 23 issue as our company gradually moves all of its “titles” (aka: newspapers) over to paid subscription on the internet.

There will still be free content on the website – the classifieds, obituaries, BC News, etc., but all local news will be available only to subscribers.

Our current subscribers will have access to it, but they have to set up their account first. I’m told that it’s a simple process, but “simple” is a relative term.

If you’ve never visited our website before, now’s the time:

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal