The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

January 21, 2012

Santori: Letter to our readers: online upgrade

MANKATO — After months of work, The Free Press website will undergo an important change. By the end of the month, we will offer digital subscriptions to mankatofree press.com that will allow you to view an unlimited number of our website’s articles, blogs, photos and more.

Without the digital subscription, you still will be able to access 10 pages each month. After that, you will be asked to become a digital subscriber.

With some dedicated experimentation and resources, we have found over the last year that we have three distinct audiences: the online reader, the e-edition (or PDF) reader and the print edition reader who values hard copy and home delivery.

We have been upgrading our website to such a point where it now has become a stand-alone product with features such as our CoverItLive reporting of sports and news events, more photos, extended police logs and court documents, breaking news, video reports, blogs, polls, Mankato Magazine, Minnesota Valley Business magazine and other interactive features.

We have developed methods by which we could present the news in ways the print edition could not. We are now at the point where we can offer all the extended features at a fair price to cover the expense of gathering and presenting the news in its various forms.

Subscribers to The Free Press can get full access to our website for $1 per month, and for nonsubscribers the price is $4.99 per month.

We value our print subscribers as members of the Free Press Media Group and they will enjoy a greatly discounted rate for unlimited access to mankatofreepress.com. And some features will continue to have unlimited access, including our obituaries, classifieds, weddings, engagements and celebrations.

The mankatofreepress.com is unquestionably the region’s No. 1 local news website, drawing more viewers than any other local media company. Last year, we had 17.2 million page views and nearly 2 million unique users with stories that generated enough interest to go “viral” or get shared by thousands more readers. Nearly 70 percent of those who came to mankatofreepress.com were returning visitors.

We are committed to changing and innovating to provide you with the local news you need, when you want it and the way you want it.

Jim Santori is publisher of The Free Press. Contact him at 344-6382 or jsantori@mankatofreepress.com.

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