KPNS: Its future depends on funding by participating newspapers

Since it began on October 1, 2009, there’s been one constant with the Kentucky Press News Service.

“It’s free for the foreseeable future,” with foreseeable being the operative word.

That future is here and we’re beginning the process of having newspapers pay (minimally as it may be) for the service depending on how they plan to use stories.

Letters were mailed to most participating parties last week. Online publications were exempted because they are already paying a monthly fee to be in the program. The News Editorial Division had developed a solution about 14 months ago that was approved by the Board but is just now being implemented.

It calls for a two-tier system, one with no charge, the other with a $25 or $50 per month fee. Newspapers choosing to publish stories in their printed product or just a brief synopsis on their website will fall under Tier One and not be charged.

Those that want to use the RSS feed on their website or publish stories in full on their website will pay $25 per month (weeklies), or $50 per month (dailies). The new policy takes effect June 1.

Here’s part of the text of the letter sent to KPNS publishers last week:

This will help fund KPNS’ operation.

Tier-One Service

  1. KPNS newspaper members may continue publishing KPNS content in their newspapers free of charge.
  2. KPNS newspaper members may publish on their websites a brief synopsis of a story and a link to the originating newspaper’s website. There will be no fee for this service.

(Tier-One Service does not include the publishing of in-full KPNS stories on newspaper members’ websites.)

Tier-Two Service

  1.  Weekly newspapers wanting to use the KPNS RSS feed on their website OR to publish KPNS stories in-full on their website will pay $25 per month.
  2.  Daily newspapers wanting to use the KPNS RSS feed on their website OR to publish KPNS stories in-full on their website will pay $50 per month.

 

It is a costly service to run, one that’s been funded by KPA for nearly nine years but it cannot continue on that basis. If funding can’t be found to offset the high cost, then KPA will have to reconsider the future of KPNS.

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