BUSHFIRE: Emergency services fight to contain a bushfire near Coonarr. Fanned by strong westerly winds the fire moved rapidly towards Goodwood Road, putting homes and farms at risk. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
BUSHFIRE: Emergency services fight to contain a bushfire near Coonarr. Fanned by strong westerly winds the fire moved rapidly towards Goodwood Road, putting homes and farms at risk. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

NewsMail launches great value digital deal

WHEN a bushfire broke out and threatened homes in Kinkuna last week, hundreds of people logged on to our website to keep up to date with the story.

Our rolling coverage drew in more than 1200 readers over several hours as rural firefighters battled to get the blaze under control.

At any one time, hundreds of people were reading our updates online and sharing them on Facebook.

Within 20 minutes we had a photographer on the scene who filed photographs and video back to the newsroom.

A reporter spoke with Leonie and Steve Driver, whose neighbours didn't even realise their home was in danger until the Drivers alerted them to the fire front bearing down, and helped evacuate their animals.

The fire, estimated to have affected a ground area of about 20 hectares in the Kinkuna and Coonarr areas, had 10 crews fighting it at its peak, and we were able to keep residents in the area informed as to its possible movements.

A Facebook post encouraging people to give a shout-out to the rural firies received a huge 863 likes from the Bundaberg community.

It was coverage that 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 Bundaberg 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 news-mail.com.au, 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 Bundaberg.

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 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 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, as well as showcasing new photo galleries each day.

You will also find local readers' stories, weather, traffic cams, local history and event listings.

Our Things to Do page includes regular guides, compiled each week by our journalists, showcasing the best local events for the weekend, for kids, as well as where to catch live music.

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

Liz Carson
Editor
Bundaberg NewsMail

Liz.Carson@news-mail.com.au



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