Gympie Times launches great value digital deal

WHEN reports of a "sinkhole" at Inskip Pt surfaced in the early hours of a recent Sunday, thousands of people flocked to our website to follow the action.

Our rolling coverage started at 4am when a staff member, from our sister publication the Sunshine Coast Daily, woke and heard that terrified campers were being evacuated from the campsite.

Immediately they alerted our readers. The coverage continued all day, with photos, stories, eyewitness accounts and videos from the scene -- as well as expert analysis explaining the science behind the phenomenon.

Our lead story was read by more than 3000 locals and 120,000 Australian Regional Media-wide. A sinkhole evacuation video and photo galleries of the recovery mission was also viewed by thousands.

At any one time through the drama, hundreds of people were reading our updates online, produced from reporters and photographers in Gympie, at the Sunshine Coast and the Fraser Coast. Our dominance in Queensland makes for great in-depth reporting of the big issues.

Families of campers, locals and holidaymakers relied on us for crucial information about the site evacuation and when it would be safe to return.

It's coverage we are extremely proud of -- but it's just an example of what we do every day.

Having 11 editorial staff on the ground in Gympie is not cheap. But it's the only way to keep the community properly informed, tell your stories, and make sure you can find out what you need to know.

And now we're asking our readers to share a small proportion of the cost of bringing you this coverage.

From October 20, we will start a digital subscription model for where some readers will be asked to pay for some of the things they read.

Let's be clear on one thing first: We know we're more than just a news source for the region, we're an integral part of the social fabric of Gympie. That's why no one will be blocked from going to the site and seeing crucial information if they don't want to pay.


Our subscription model will be a metered one, where everyone gets access to 10 free stories a month, before they are asked to pay.

As a reward to our most loyal readers, those who have subscribed to our newspaper and had it home delivered, every print subscriber will get full digital access for free.

For everyone else, the launch offers will be incredible.

For just $5 a week, we'll be offering people 6-day home delivery of the printed paper, plus full digital access. That's a 50% discount for the first three months.

And the added value component for new subscribers is incredible - free access to Brisbane's Courier-Mail, access to the Washington Post, and online streaming bonuses.

If, like a minority, you read digital exclusively, we'll be offering full access for just $3 a week for the first three months. And we'll throw in a home delivered Saturday paper to make it even more attractive.

And remember, anyone who doesn't want to pay will still get those 10 free stories a month.
Our investment in the online space is significant.

We have more stories, photos and video online than ever before. We have invested in the equipment to make sure our people can be the best they can be.

And navigation of the website is even more functional thanks to a new home page that rolled out recently.

Each section includes a hyperlink header which will take you to more content in that section.

There has been significant work to bolster our Local Life page, which focuses more on community news through our new daily Your Story section.

We'll also showcase new photo galleries each day, including weekend sporting events and popular #ilovegympieregion photos.

You will find local opinion pieces, weather, beach and fishing reports, local history and event listings.

Our Things to Do page includes regular guides, compiled each week by our journalists and  showcasing the best local events for the weekend.

It's all part of responding to reader feedback. Now we need your support to keep the momentum going.

I look forward to your feedback.

Craig Warhurst