St Cloud newspaper introduces reader apps

January 19, 2012 by  

In a bid to make the paper fully accessible to subscribers via smart phones, tabs and iPads, The St. Cloud Times is introducing apps and expanded coverage by hiring more reporters.

With the switch, Times readers who have not subscribed to the paper will only have limited access to the news via the website, www.sctimes.com, beginning Feb 7. A spokesman for the paper said they have installed a web meter to measure the number of stories readers can access every month before the system tells them they must subscribe to read further.

News on the website has been free since 1999. Reader services such as the classifieds, obituaries, the home page and the front page of each section will still be free. St. Cloud print companies applaud the move to maintain advertiser visibility via the free pages.

The St. Cloud Times is adding three writers to their roster of journalists, said executive editor, John Bodette. The addition of new technology including staff smartphones and video cameras is a major investment for the company that owns the Times.

Surveys have shown that readers would like more coverage in topics such as healthy living,family life, education, locally grown food, plus extended coverage of local business success stories and the people behind the news.

“Our biggest priorities remain breaking news and watchdog, investigative and public service reporting,” Bodette said.

The Times follows other American papers into the world of pay-per-view digital content, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Dallas Morning News.

The National Newspaper Association reports that newspaper websites received approximately 110.4 unique visits in the last quarter of 2011, up nine per cent from 2010.

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