“Free” for the foreseeable future. That’s been the rallying cry of the Kentucky Press News Service since it began October 1, 2009. It would be free for participating newspapers. For a while.
Some three years ago, the Board gave us authority to sell “subscriptions” to KPNS and WLEX-TV in Lexington became the first media to pay to receive access to the stories. It still uses numerous KPNS stories on its daily newscasts, giving credit to the originating newspaper, and also uses an RSS feed on its website to keep those stories in front of viewers and website visitors.
But the “foreseeable future” has arrived and soon there will be two levels, or tiers, to KPNS. And one includes a monthly subscription for newspapers.
Some newspapers aren’t interested in using the stories on their website and in those cases, the newspaper simply gets the budget from KPNS, puts a headline and synopsis of the story on its website and if anyone wants to read the full story, they’ll click on the link and be directed to the originating newspaper.
At the April 21 KPA Board meeting, the Board approved a structure that will allow us to recoup some of the costs. It’s been 100 percent underwritten by KPA since the beginning but to keep it going, newspapers are going to have to help offset the costs.
The Board has created two tiers — 1 and 2 — with Tier 1 allowing newspapers to post the headline and synopsis with a link to the originating newspaper’s website. There is no cost to newspapers wanting that limited access to the stories.
Tier 2 gives newspapers permission to post full stories from originating newspapers on their website as well as publish the story in full in its printed product.
Tier 2 is important to readers because of complete access to the stories. With so many newspapers “behind the paywall,” using just a link to a story will not allow a reader access to the story on the originating newspaper’s website. By signing up for Tier 2, newspapers will be able to post the entire story on its website instead of redirecting the reader to the original link.
A new agreement has been prepared and will be sent to each participating newspaper to sign and return prior to June 1 to keep the service active for that newspaper. At that point, the newspaper will indicate its choice of Tier 1 or Tier 2.
For Tier 2, the Board accepted a recommendation from the KPA News Editorial division to charge weeklies $25 per month and $50 per month for dailies.
With Tier 2, readers will be able to read the entire story in that newspaper’s website rather than being linked to the original website where access could be denied if the story is behind a paywall.
A new agreement is being finalized and will be send to each participating newspaper to indicate it choice of Tier 1 or Tier 2. And with Tier 2, a payment process will be arranged.
If you have questions about the new format for KPNS, or if you aren’t a participating newspaper and want to sign up, please contact David Greer at firstname.lastname@example.org