Scottish daily's website goes behind partial paywall

One of Scotland's oldest regional newspapers, the Greenock Telegraph, has gone behind a partial paywall.

While some part of the site remains free to access, users must now pay to access the majority of news and sports stories.

Readers will be charged an initial £2.99 a month to subscribe (later rising to £3.99) to the site, or £3.99 a month plus a free copy of the daily newspaper for one month.

Publishers Clyde and Forth Media said subscribers will get access to exclusive online-only content and competitions.

The news comes a week after the publishers of Britain's best-selling regional newspaper, Wolverhampton's Express & Star, scrapped its paywall after only nine months.

The paper has instead launched a range of digital newspaper apps for the iPad and iPhone.

'A phenomenal number of people, more than 30,000 and increasing every day, have already signed up to enjoy our terrific site, and many of those readers have told us how much they enjoy it,'said editor Anne Caine.

'We hope that they will see the very modest charge we are making for our terrific content as exceptional value for money.

'This is a very bold and groundbreaking step for a group the size of Clyde and Forth Media to take, but we are confident we are offering readers a fantastic site that delivers all they need in terms of local news – throughout the day."

The print edition of the Monday-Saturday paper, which costs 40p, has an average daily circulation of 14,342 (down 5.6 per cent year on year), according to its latest ABC figures.

In December, Newsquest announced that its Scottish titles the Herald and Sunday Herald had today introduced an FT-style metered paywall model.

The Glasgow-based titlea offer readers up to 10 articles a month for free, but those who want to access more articles are asked to pay £2.99 a month.

In 2010, Johnston Press scrapped paywall experiments on two its Scottish weekly titles, Selkirk-based the Southern Reporter and the Carrick Gazette, after less than six months.

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