By NR Staff • 

NewsRegister.com becomes subscription-based website

NewsRegister.com, the online platform for McMinnville's community newspaper, became a subscription-based website Wednesday.

Publisher Jeb Bladine made the announcement Friday, Dec. 7. Comments from readers and the publisher's updates have been posted on this article for nearly a week.

The website, which has served McMinnville and the Yamhill Valley since 1996, joins a growing legion of news sites across the country that now require subscriptions to access the bulk of its content.

 "This is a decision we did not reach lightly. We've debated the pros and cons of this move for years," Bladine said in making the announcement. "But the time has come. We can't expect our print subscribers to pay for the newspaper and then give our work away for free to everyone else."

Existing newspaper subscribers can visit the website and request login information. Online access is included in each print subscription.

Non-subscribers will have the opportunity to sign up for a special $10 two-month newspaper/online subscription offer. More information on both options is available here - www.newsregister.com/subscribe-online

With the change, NewsRegister.com also launched Open Source, a community news blog located on the home page. The blog will combine reporting from the paper's news staff, submitted news and photos from readers (replacing the current ValleyEye submission page) and various social media parts.

Bladine said readers can expect timely coverage of local news with concise reporting online and more in-depth information in the following print edition. He emphasized that readers should not consider the website and the newspaper to be duplications. "We're now reporting local news in two distinctly different ways," he said. "An informed Yamhill Valley resident should be reading both the website and the newspaper."

The NewsRegister.com website will continue to serve both subscribers and non-subscribers. Some local information will be made available to everyone. That's especially true for urgent news stories involving public safety issues. "We will continue to be the go-to source for public safety and the urgent information the public need to know," Bladine said.

Other content available to everyone includes the online community calendar, local weather forecasts, special sections, quick access to links for other community websites, the HomeFinder real estate listings, legal notices, access to the Yamhill County jail roster, classified advertising and content generated by Open Source.

Paid content includes local news and sports reporting, news videos, the News-Register digital news archive and the electronic edition of the printed newspaper twice a week.

Comments

TheDude

Well...it was nice debating with some of you folks!

NimbWhitIB

I guess I only got a couple days left to read about what's going on around Yamhill County. As things come up that I want to read about, I will buy the print edition accordingly. I hope Everyone has a great Christmas Season and Awesome New Year!

sellonline

I live and work in Mac. Looks like I'll be getting my local news elsewhere. What a bummer...

Rainydaygirl

So, if this subscription starts on Dec.12, why can't I access some of the content now? I get a message to 'subscribe to read this content'.

Dances with Redwoods

'subscribe to read this content' is a message you will start to see more often than not. I think that people have become addicted to the idea that somehow online content should not only be free for the taking, but free to its making as well.

I try not to watch much television, and have made a conscious decision to spend less time on the Internet...but...I will continue to subscribe to the News-Register and pay for both the printed, as well as digital format.

angela.flood

Does that mean that if you pay for a subscription to the web content, you will no longer have the ads? Local television doesn't charge for their content because they are supported by advertising. Willamette Week newspaper contains lots of ads, but both the paper and the web content are free. So, if you know have to pay for access to a website, it should be ad free (like paying for HBO).

Dances with Redwoods

"....pay for access to a website, it should be ad free (like paying for HBO)."

But this isn't HBO .. it's a small town family owned newspaper that I am quite positive is not really in the market to compete with conglomerations. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

Just curious, angela, have you seen the Bi-Mart ad in yesterdays edition of the N-R? I very recently purchased a West Bend Movie Theater (4 oz version) Popcorn maker for my grand kids. Cost me $79...Bi-Mart now has them priced at $59.

Now, in my mind, the savings realized from taking advantage of that one ad alone, is enough to pay for my next two months of subscription to the News-Register. At least that's how I view things.

People view things differently, obviously we all have our own perspectives. A couple of months ago I'd mentioned to my mother that I'd read an article about my (1969 junior year high school Art teacher Mr Basset) in the Fairmont-Sentinal.

The article had been written some years ago. She hasn't lived in that community since the 1950's, but she now is a paid subsciber to that newspapers printed version and recieves it by U.S mail six days a week out here on the west coast.

She respectfully declined the Sunday edition offer, though, as they don't have a 'Piggly Wiggly' down in Mountain View, California, to gleen any savings from it's advertisement inserts.

retiredbs

@ Dances, you can accomplish the same results, I believe, by typing bi-mart.com into your browser. I just go to my McMinnville mailbox and it is always stuffed with advertisements. So no, the ads are not a reason for many of us to purchase the paper. I hope this change will shore up the News Register financially, but I'm not optimistic. I say this because of the changes they have made over the last few years. Each change was to extend the financial life of the paper, but apparently none have been successful enough as to forgo additional changes. If this change is not successful, what is next? Keep raising the price to those consumers who are left?

angela.flood

When people are looking at their expenses, even for those who may have more wiggle room than others, they choose to keep the items that are most relevant. In order to stay relevant, a product has to be the best provider of the content. Given that the NR will change articles (with no mention of what was changed, or that it was even changed), report stories with no follow up (ex: what is the disposition of the election complaint Van Bergen filed?), and continues to report what they are given instead of being investigative (like we are just supposed to believe what we are fed, instead of providing documentation or resources that back up the 'news', they have created a position where they are no longer the best provider of the content. Its sad, but that's why people subscribe to blogs or visit topic specific websites (which are free). The lead folks at the NR have been offered people that will report on local events for no charge, to keep things relevant to local communities besides Mac, but have declined. Decisions made, business model decided. It is what it is.

Major Pain

I'll support a local "small town" paper when they start taking their own advice and buy newsprint from a local company. How tragic that the News-Register preaches on buying local but doesn't themselves.

The News-Register has high hopes to charge residents for two news sources then doesn’t consistently or accurately report in the online version. Then has the nerve to shut down the one decent source of news we had only because that was free and the News-Register can’t compete.

Rotwang

Well, the trolling's been fun, but after my print sub lapses I guess I'm out as well. I can't support this paper with its pro-drug-war editorial policy any longer.

miataman91

Well, most of my family and relatives are dumping their paper subscription as soon as it runs out. This small company business does not understand shopping locally or supporting the community. There is hardly much local news in it anyway. Most of it is copied from the Oregonian or news stations. So, what are we really losing... Nothing in my opinion.

Jeb Bladine

Major Pain,
I assume you refer to the Georgia-based SP Newsprint plant of Newberg, from which we have purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars of newsprint over many years. A time came when a combination of issues related to plant capacity, consistent availability to us, and on-press performance of paper caused us to reduce, but not eliminate, that purchasing.We're saddened by the 2012 SP bankruptcy filing, but heartened by news of a new sheet from the Newberg plant.
As for shutting down some other news source, that's simply a falsehood. If you are referring to an online news operation that started and eventually ceased publication in McMinnville, the only role played by the News-Register was our internal discussions about how difficult it is, from our own experience, to maintain a free local news website.
Jeb Bladine
News-Register

miataman91

I think that this is an interested train of thoughts from the public. It's entertaining to me to see how many excuses that the News Register can come up with to justify treating the small communities that are affected in the County. First you fire the local newspaper carriers, then you charge to view your paper online. I agree with 'retiredbs'. What's the next knife you're going to stab us with?

Kona

I think many of you are mixing up the News Register with a public service organization that gets revenue from taxpayers/governments. Ideally a local newspaper can fulfill both, but it can be very difficult for any business to satisfy both situations and make it work. Times are changing. Many businesses are in a fluid conditions with rapidly changing technology. Every business is organized to make a profit. The decisions that every business has to make should not be taken lightly. I am sure that considerable thought went into this. No reason to be upset. If the product appeals to you then you buy it, if not don't buy it. I think the News Register is a great product.

Jeb Bladine

miataman91,
I’m sure you are a fine person with a loving family. I can only hope that whatever caused the bitterness you carry toward our company will ease over time. If you ever want to talk about what’s behind that bitterness, but not in a public forum, you know where we are. Here’s hoping you have a happy holiday season.
Jeb Bladine, News-Register

Dances with Redwoods

I've enjoyed my online interactions with you retiredbs, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

retiredbs

Dances I've enjoyed reading your words as well. I hope everyone enjoys the Holidays and has a better 2013 than this year. For myself, well I'll most likely be vacationing in Washington State! LOL

Jeb Bladine

This comment string may be our last online interaction with people who "opt out" of following local news through the N-R or NR.com. So, for the next few days, I'll do a few proactive posts here to comment on the dynamics of community newspapers today and the evolution of our decision to limit full access to the website. Feel free to join in.
For starters, here's one thing that keeps us going in the face of all the changes in modern communications:
Years ago, a community survey that drew several thousand responses from Yamhill County residents included two simple questions: 1) Do you have a good public school system? and 2) Do you have good local government?
At that time, 67% of subscribers and regular N-R readers said "Yes" to both questions. And equally interesting, 67% of non-readers said "No" to both questions. I think those results could be replicated in most places served by traditional community newspapers.
It's a chicken-egg issue, of course: Do community newspapers create positive community outlooks among their readers, or are people with positive community outlooks drawn to community newspapers that highlight so much of what's good about the activities of local people. A bit of both, no doubt.
There also is a lot of "bad news," rising in recent decades due to the increase in crime, drugs, economic challenges, etc. But for those who doubt the extent of "good community news" published on our pages, while you still have free access to our online newspaper archive, take a look through the 138,560 articles (current count) displayed in that archive going back to Jan. 1, 1999.

skull crusher

You are acting like the News Register isn't making any money because of putting its content online for free. Sounds like this decision has been made out of pure greed! Many of your reporters wouldn't know an accurate story from a hole in the ground. See ya later. The s%$t that is written in this paper isn't worth Five cents a month to read.

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