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News Corp’s regional Queensland publications move to premium digital subscription model

News Corp’s regional newspapers in Queensland will move to a premium digital subscription model, commencing with Toowoomba’s The Chronicle today.

The new ‘unlimited’ premium subscription model moves away from a metered paywall model for non subscribers of Queensland’s regional titles.

Editor Steve Etwell announced the news today

Going forward, those who aren’t subscribed to News Regional Media’s Queensland paper will not be able to access any story with the News Corp rainbow ‘Plus’ logo.

Bryce Johns, editorial director at News Regional Media, said the rollout will extend to 11 other daily regional newspapers in Queensland over the next few weeks.

There are 16 daily titles within News Regional Media, five currently on premium, including Toowoomba. Nine more newspapers across Queensland and two in Northern NSW will roll out a premium subscriber option shortly.

The Gold Coast Bulletin, Townsville Bulletin, Cairns Post and NT News already have websites based on the premium subscription model.

“Serious journalism costs money, and our local journalism is critical to the ongoing prosperity of our communities across the Sunshine State,” Johns said.

“Subscribers will be well informed with unlimited access to the best local journalism and investigations, as well as the top writers on issues that matter around the country.”

Those who subscribe will have unlimited digital access to the local regional newspaper and stories across the News Corp mastheads, full access to digital print editions of the paper, as well as the Queensland metro paper, The Courier-Mail and the app. The same will apply for northern NSW newspaper subscribers, except they will be offered full access to The Daily Telegraph instead of The Courier-Mail.

“Our team of editors and journalists will continue to champion our people and our regions, giving a voice to the issues and stories that matter to our local communities,” Johns said.

Steve Etwell, editor of The Chronicle told readers the change was being made because “serious journalism costs money”.

“For the good of this town we need help to keep the journalism numbers high,” Etwell said.

“It should lead to a more informed community, because those just using their handful of free stories a month (under the meter) are missing out on great local stories and information.”

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