View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
August 22, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 8:14am

Regional daily editor ‘makes no apologies’ for putting up paywall despite complaints

By Freddy Mayhew

A regional daily newspaper editor has said he “makes no apologies” for putting up an online paywall, despite receiving “a raft of questions and complaints” from readers about the decision.

Portsmouth’s The News is one of two JPI Media news websites to experiment with a subscription model, the other being the Blackpool Gazette, as the publisher seeks to offset falling ad revenues.

Readers can access five free articles a week at or pay £2 a week, or £78 a year, for unlimited access, faster page loading times, access to the mobile app and fewer ads.

Editor Mark Waldron said in a message to readers that the news website “continues to gain new subscribers every day” after first putting up a paywall at the start of summer, although he did not reveal the figures.

But, he added: “Obviously, the move to subscriptions was never going to be universally welcomed. I have dealt with a raft of questions and complaints on the subject and I too see the comments posted on our social media feeds.

“But I make no apologies for the decision we have taken. I knew that we would not take everyone with us on this exciting new news journey but at least by complaining it did show that people cared about and enjoyed the content we provide them.

“We could just no longer sustain this as a free service.”

Content from our partners
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it
Impress: Regulation, arbitration and complaints resolution
Papermule: Workflow automation for publishers

Waldron said his team continues to learn and shape its content to what subscribers enjoy reading about and thanked them for their support.

The News has been in print for more than 140 years.

Waldron said: “This journalism costs money and it is through the financial support of our readers that we can continue to transform our newsrooms and improve our unrivalled service to meet your needs in our past-paced digital world.”

JPI Media (formerly Johnston Press) is in talks to sell its titles, which include the Yorkshire Post, Scotsman and the i paper. As many as eight media companies are reported to be considering offers.

Topics in this article : ,

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network