DO WE WANT IT FIRST AND FREE, OR DO WE WANT IT BEHIND A PAYWALL?

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Island Echo is reaffirming its commitment to providing Isle of Wight news first, fast and for free in the same week that the Isle of Wight County Press, owned by Newsquest, has started charging for its online news stories.

Up until Wednesday, no local news outlets charged for reading stories online but the IWCP has now introduced a cost of £2 (for the first 2 months), increasing to £4.99 a month thereafter. The charge comes in after 40 articles are viewed, with registration compulsory after 20 articles.

Furthermore, the cover price of the printed edition has quietly increased by another 10p this week to £1.10.

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A recent survey of Island Echo readers revealed that 98% would be against a paywall, so today (Friday) we are providing a commitment to our readers that Island Echo will not be introducing any kind of paywall. Our stories will remain free, all of the time.

The introduction of the County Press’ paywall comes despite a recent Freedom of Information request revealing that the County Press receives, on average, £70,000 a year from the Isle of Wight Council alone – that’s more than any other local media company. Island Echo doesn’t even see 10% of that revenue, despite being the Island’s leading news source.

Darren Toogood, Editor/Publisher of Island Echo, says:

“I genuinely feel this is the biggest change in the local media landscape since Island Echo burst onto the scene in 2012. It provides an opportunity for truly local and independent news providers like ourselves to thrive and continue delivering news as it happens, 24 hours a day.

“As my counterpart once said, I ask the public to appreciate the way our reporters try their best to get it right and do it in the right way.

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“Island Echo has been around for a long time – 9 years now in fact – and will be here for a long time to come, serving the Island and it’s people… but who knows what the future holds for others”.

Thanks to Twitter user Dan for sharing these photos of how Island Echo’s website compares to others…

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
13 Comments
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dot
dot
29 days ago

The County Press was once a great local paper then it was taken over by a mainland company who started putting in so many adds now its a crap paper it’s days are numbered

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
Reply to  dot
28 days ago

i used to buy the county press every week and it was full of articles and decent information – it is nothing but a cheap advertising rag now and I never bother getting it – I get all the island news from the echo – i don’t even use the county press website – just not user friendly.

Indy Island
Indy Island
Reply to  dot
27 days ago

Well done and thankyou Island Echo, my wife and I have always read your site, our main source of local news. Not read County Press very much since Newsquest take over, no longer a local paper in my view.

Elmer Keith
Elmer Keith
29 days ago

Really great site, the news is and features are brilliant, well done Darren and the team, my only one moan is the censorship is a little heavy, but I realise in these PC days it is hard for you.

Thanks for keeping us informed for free and giving us the chance to comment on the articles, makes it all far more interesting then hearing what others feel and think, hence it is nice to hear all opinions so long as not crude, to gauge a true sense of how Islanders thoughts and views alter on all subject.

Thank you for your excellent site.

MC hammer
MC hammer
29 days ago

I am a newbie and I don’t normally do social media, but after reading the CP for the past couple of decades I have found your platform a breath of fresh air,I have wrote to there letters page (what a joke) I have even phoned there news desk about important issues, but they are on a different island to the one i live on, thanks guys, keep up the good work, x

Oldbutalive
Oldbutalive
29 days ago

County press have just shot themselves.

Lady Dunstanding
Lady Dunstanding
29 days ago

Although Editor Toogood has his own favourite topics, and sometimes people, I really do find him one of the very few local media bods who attempt to shew both sides of an argument. Well done, Island Echo. As for the, once highly respected, County Depress…? My family has been here for seven hundred years, but if you read Vectis’ oldest news publication you would wonder why we bothered staying! Adverts, twee nimby nonsense, fawning articles about the last-but three- high sheriff, death notices(actually the only good bit), and more adverts, but for estate agents. In fact, a whole magazine for those parasites.

Level Phil
Level Phil
29 days ago

Yes, best to keep things as they are, paid for by advertisers. It is easy enough to ignore the generic gambling articles that keep cropping up.

RinTinTin
RinTinTin
Reply to  Level Phil
28 days ago

Erm….but if they get ignored they’ll go elsewhere?

I read them for a giggle.

ron ashton
ron ashton
29 days ago

Let’s face it neither of the papers warrant having to pay for them. The reporting is average
and the contents repetitive and boring

See the Light
See the Light
Reply to  ron ashton
28 days ago

Start your own then Ron

Steve
Steve
27 days ago

I won’t bother with the County Press, it really doesn’t feel like a local paper anymore. I’m sure they post articles that have nothing to do with the Island just to fill up content.

Dave Rose
Dave Rose
27 days ago

Well they’ve lost me as a reader and a person who made regular on-line comments. I dropped a letter into the County Press offices on Thursday to Alan Marriott to express my dismay and pointing out the regular failings of their website. To expect people to pay for such a poor product just won’t happen. I fully support the Island Echo and it is a much better site and a much more responsive to Island News as the stories break.
My first post on here and hopefully many more !

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