The Chronicle adjusts free access in digital subscription model

The Chronicle has tweaked the way its digital subscription works for augustachronicle.com access. More items are designated as premium content, but more premium pages can be sampled for free.

 

Access to the augustachronicle.com homepage, urgent breaking news, photos, video, databases, customer service pages and advertising sections (autos, homes, shopping and jobs) continues to be unencumbered. Those pages will not count as ‘premium’ views.  Everything else will.

 

Twenty premium pages can be sampled for free each month. We will notify you once you have visited 10 free premium pages, stopping you at 20. This should ease the experience for all readers who recently have been stopped at ten pages.

 

There will be more print and digital subscriptions values coming in 2012 that may include the iPad, e-edition and mobile versions. You can sample our online replica free for a limited time: http://chronicle.augusta.com/echronicle. This will also become part of our offerings in 2012.

 

You support daily and investigative journalism with your visits and your subscription. You read our analysis of the budget and payroll at City Hall with vigor. Our investigation into fire department issues was among the most read and commented on the site. The Chronicle editorials and  Rick McKee editorial cartoons are staples for many of you.

 

The augustachronicle.com plus all related Spotted and augusta.com news and community websites (News-Times, McDuffie Mirror, North Augusta Today and more) are rated tops in the market with 763,977 unique visits in October. You can subscribe now.

 

Thank you.  

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Riverman1
79275
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Riverman1 11/15/11 - 08:08 pm
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The Chronicle is very upset

The Chronicle is very upset that JohnRandolphHardisonCain has chosen not to like them in the social media. They have my deepest sympathy with their loss.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 11/16/11 - 09:27 am
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The Chronicle simply cannot

The Chronicle simply cannot accept criticism of its right wing extremist editorial policy. They deleted my comment. I suspect this is also why The Chronicle decided not to revive its electronic bulletin board "The Forum" when it supposedly had a fatal crash. The Chronicle's masters want to control public opinion by incorporating comments into its electronic edition. Unlike a bulletin board reader comments are heavily censored and are buried within a day or two by succeeding articles. A person can voice their opinion in real time but as time moves forward it is buried and forgotten. I refuse to subscribe to The Chronicle because of its right wing extremist, yellow journalism style editorial policy. I blame the control freaks on the editorial board. And yes, Riverman1, I even refuse to "like" The Chronicle on facebook.

Riverman1
79275
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Riverman1 11/16/11 - 09:30 am
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JRHCain, the reason they are

JRHCain, the reason they are deleting your posts is because you are mentioning the social media entity by name....I think. Try it without it.

Sean Moores
832
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Sean Moores 11/16/11 - 09:52 am
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain,

JohnRandolphHardisonCain, Check your email. I explained why your comment was removed. It has nothing to do with naming Facebook.

Riverman1
79275
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Riverman1 11/16/11 - 10:01 am
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Oh, so we can say Facebook

Oh, so we can say Facebook now? Didn't that used to be a no, no? Anyway, while you are allowing this...Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. I had to get it out of my system.

grouse
1635
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grouse 11/16/11 - 11:18 am
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Digital access should be
Unpublished

Digital access should be included with every print subscription. I'm not paying twice for the same content.

Alan English
6
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Alan English 11/16/11 - 11:32 am
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Grouse, It is discounted for

Grouse,
It is discounted for print subscribers at $2.95/mo. We put additional resources and additional content into the digital versions. For the equivalent of a couple cups of coffee each month, your digital subscription helps support the changing model for journalism, now with a digital-first mindset. Digital subscribers will get more first.

my.voice
4654
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my.voice 11/16/11 - 11:57 am
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I just with the AC would stop

I just with the AC would stop throwing trash in my front yard. I dont want or need the North Augusta Today paper. I've called and called yet they keep the littering campaign up.

Alan English
6
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Alan English 11/16/11 - 12:37 pm
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my.voice, Please message

my.voice,
Please message janet.culver@augustachronicle.com your address to get your location off the distribution list. Or send to me and I will help.

DawgnSC69
240
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DawgnSC69 11/16/11 - 12:39 pm
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JRHCain, How about sticking

JRHCain,
How about sticking to the far left liberal media like CBSNews, CNN, ABCNEws, etc. You have all of the socialist liberal mdeia outlets you could ever want. It's all over the place.

my.voice
4654
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my.voice 11/16/11 - 12:40 pm
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Alan, I have been taken-off

Alan,
I have been taken-off the list several times, and each time the littering comes back. I have a charge of $6.95 per month to dump paper in my yard.

Sweet son
9682
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Sweet son 11/16/11 - 12:54 pm
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You guys that get the free

You guys that get the free throws and don't want them just don't know how to get it cancelled. Do what Alan says. I called once and the free throws stopped the next week. Never had another one. As is everything else in life you are going to have to pay to play which includes reading the AC on the internet. Good job: Alan and Sean! And @ John Cain, Sean is always fair.

linux
73
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linux 11/16/11 - 01:00 pm
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I just moved from Seattle to

I just moved from Seattle to Evans and am used to the Seattle Times and other papers allowing all content for free. I don't know how they do that (ad's obviously) when the Chronicle cannot but I'll say that I don't spend much time viewing the AG because the messages about content annoy me so I just move on to other papers.

Riverman1
79275
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Riverman1 11/16/11 - 01:10 pm
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The question is always do you

The question is always do you have enough readers to have advertizing pay the bills. If advertizers feel not enough people read to affect their sales you won't get enough advertizing revenue and have to generate money in other ways...subscriptions. The downside is you also lose readers. So you have to do a cost benefit analysis and do what's best. No one knows how this thing is going it's so early in the game. It could be other internet news entities will win over traditional newspapers.

I believe this same problem is about to hit terrestrial radio too with the internet providing other type programming and stations from all over the world playing what you want, when you want to hear it.

grouse
1635
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grouse 11/16/11 - 01:44 pm
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Having worked at The
Unpublished

Having worked at The Chronicle in the past, I find it hard to believe that the "extra resources" come anywhere close to the costs of producing a printed paper. Why The Chronicle doesn't include digital access as an incentive to subscribe to the printed version is beyond me when it is standard practice for other newspapers. Even if the print subscription was raised by a few cents for everyone, the idea that digital access is included is better PR than nickel-and-diming your subscribers...

Riverman1
79275
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Riverman1 11/16/11 - 01:54 pm
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A slight twist on matters,

A slight twist on matters, but I bet I'm not alone. I absolutely don't want the print version being delivered to my house for a few reasons. Trash and safety when out of town for a few days. Who needs it?

I'd completely do away with the print version and go all online. It's going to happen eventually. At work we used to have a copy of the AC laying around, but now days everyone fires up their computers and goes on their merry way.

Riverman1
79275
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Riverman1 11/16/11 - 02:03 pm
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Is the new president of the

Is the new president of the AC up and running yet? I'd like to hear something from him so I can find something to criticize. A joke, sort of.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 11/16/11 - 02:05 pm
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Okay, Grouse, may I take a

Okay, Grouse, may I take a stab at your comment up above? I would think that the vast majority of print subscribers have no interest in posting on-line or reading stories on line. Likewise, the vast majority of the on-line story readers have no interest in receiving the print edition in their driveways. There are a few of us who do both.

Therefore, the Chronicle’s business provides choice and flexibility. I don't have a problem with the notion of three prices:

print only
web only
print plus web

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 11/16/11 - 02:36 pm
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The title of this entry in

The title of this entry in Alan English's blog is "The Chronicle adjusts free access in digital subscription model". What "model" is that? What successful model is The Chronicle following? The daily print newspaper business is in a slump although apparently small town weeklies are thriving. Aside from arguing about the future of print vs digital, The Chronicle has an opportunity to blaze a unique trail in the newspaper business. I call it an "open source model". When The Chronicle changed its digital edition awhile back and informed online readers about coming changes, I urged The Chronicle (through my contact with Customer Service Director Sean Moores) to become something akin to a web portal. The Chronicle could serve as a base for all sorts of useful news and education. Moores told me that was exactly what The Chronicle was shooting for. This did not happen IMO, and it is really too bad because this medium has enormous potential not only as a source of local, national, and international news but as a real teaching tool. Instead the editorial content is far right wing extremist. Reader input is tightly controlled. Setting aside the yellow journalism / tabloid style editorials (like the one yesterday that was far more insulting than my comment about the AC editorial board which got deleted) I urged that the selection of syndicated columnist be more balanced, and I include guest columnist in that recommendation. Think how The Chronicle could be used by history teachers. Current events have background. It is easy to link to that content online. This need not be limited to history classes. Any subject that is covered in the news or in the realms of science, math, physics, accounting, statistics, business, medicine, etc., has deep background. That information could be accessed through links provided by The Chronicle. An innovative online newspaper could be an important player in education and many other fields.

Finally, in response to DawgnSC69's comment above. There is no liberal mainstream media in this country. The sources you mentioned along with the NY Times, Washington Post, and all the TV networks are corporate-owned establishment media that reflect the biases of their owners. They reflect the positions of the status quo American establishment just as The Chronicle's editorial reflect the position of its editorial board and owner. The mainstream media in this country does not a freewheeling "liberal" agenda. Their bottom line is listenership, viewership, readership, ratings, subscriptions, and advertising dollars. Only The Nation magazine could qualify as a national liberal news source, but it is hardly mainstream.

Riverman1
79275
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Riverman1 11/16/11 - 02:43 pm
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JohnRHCain, would have been a

JohnRHCain, would have been a great protestor for one of these OWS rallies. He really would have been great to interview there sitting outside his tent playing his guitar.

Sean Moores
832
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Sean Moores 11/16/11 - 03:02 pm
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Many newspapers across the

Many newspapers across the country of all sizes already have some sort of pay model, and I can promise you that the ones who don't are actively considering it. In the past month the Baltimore Sun and the Minneapolis Star Tribune switched to a pay model similar to ours.

greygranny
0
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greygranny 11/16/11 - 03:22 pm
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I understand the need for a

I understand the need for a pay model to be used. But $6.95 a month is just too much for the Augusta Chronicle. I quit the paper subscription because it just was not worth it. I would consider paying the $2.95 per month--without a paper subscription. $6.95--no way. The New York times is only $15.00 a month and it severs millions more than the Augusta Chronicle. The content is about a million times better, also. I think you have to be realistic when pricing this, after all, you incur no additional cost for a digital subscriber and I think you would have a lot more subscribers if the price was lower and then you could charge more for advertising.

greygranny
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greygranny 11/16/11 - 04:17 pm
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$6.95 is just too much for

$6.95 is just too much for this paper. $2.95 a month would be realistic. Much, much larger newspapers only chanrg $15.00 a month and they serve millions and have the best writers in the world.

justthefacts
20364
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justthefacts 11/16/11 - 03:29 pm
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.23 per day is too much??

.23 per day is too much?? Please, it's a deal.

greygranny
0
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greygranny 11/16/11 - 03:41 pm
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It is not a deal for a small

It is not a deal for a small town newspaper. It is not the .23 per day--it is the principle of the thing. You should not pay more for something than it is worth. I simply will not overpay for the service. I think they would get many more subscribers if they priced it according to what it has to offer---then they would get more advertisers and MAYBE become a better newspaper.

justthefacts
20364
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justthefacts 11/16/11 - 03:50 pm
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I'm reminded of the great

I'm reminded of the great Lewis Grizzard. "People ask me all the time, why can't you newspaper people be more truthful and accurate?" I tell em, heck, it don't cost but a quarter. You want truth and accuracy, pay us a dollar. That will buy you all the truth and accuracy you need!!!"

Alan English
6
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Alan English 11/16/11 - 04:24 pm
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I would be glad to host ANY

I would be glad to host ANY of you for a tour of the Chronicle operations, provided security doesn't have an issue with you. You'll meet the people behind the scenes and on the front lines. Come see the process of producing the site, mobile products, archives and our apps. Just call 706-823-3487 to schedule a time. A cup of coffee will be included. We can discuss - at length - our digital and print efforts.

Insider Information
4009
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Insider Information 11/16/11 - 04:24 pm
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0
JRHC, why do you read the

JRHC, why do you read the Chronicle everyday if you hate it?

I don't like eating spinach. I could eat it everyday and complain, but I choose just not to eat it instead.

draksig
167
Points
draksig 11/16/11 - 04:35 pm
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0
I like the echronicle version

I like the echronicle version mentioned in the article above and feel it would be worth paying for. Would really like a version for the nook. I just don't think that the web site here gives added value for the price but this is a free market economy (for now) and you have the right (for now) to sell your product instead of giving it away.

Newspapers like the AC need to figure out the new connected economy and fast because circulation is falling fast (for almost all newspapers and magazines) while printing and distribution cost will do nothing but go up. The music industry ignored the internet for years until it was almost too late but are now working with internet businesses to make money from the internet, just like the movie and television industry are starting to do.

bdouglas
4477
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bdouglas 11/16/11 - 05:34 pm
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Let's try this again without

Let's try this again without the 'questionable' content...

Your pay-to-play program (or 'digital subscriptions' as you call them) needs some work before you'll convince people to join it en masse.

For starters, the obnoxious advertisements need to be non-existent for subscribers. The outrageously gaudy and obtrusive ads that cover up half the site when coming here are one of the TOP few reasons I installed ad blocking software on my computer at home. Now I don't see any of them on any site when I visit. I would have absolutely *no problem* with there being ads even on paid subscriptions if they stopped being so obnoxious where they cover up actual content. Keep them in the confines of the advertising space. If they are relevant, people will click on them. If they are obnoxious and obtrusive, NO ONE will click on them unless it's on accident trying to get them off the screen.

Second, your subscription system could stand to be more secure. I'll leave it at that.

Third, as everyone else has said, this digital subscription should be a free incentive for subscribers. Extra content or not, there's not enough extra there (yet) to warrant having to pay extra just to read your paper online that you have a copy of waiting for you at home. The price for non-paper-subscribers is probably fair enough. I'm sure a very large portion of the cost in producing a newspaper is the print edition -- maintaining and running presses, paper stock, inks, etc -- and that cost is already passed on to subscribers. They shouldn't have to pay more to get it in electronic form. Charge those who don't get the paper copy that cost.

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