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‘Valley News’ Debuts Enhanced Website

In recent days, we’ve quietly introduced a more robust website. We’re still working out some bugs, but we’re ready for those of you who haven’t come across it already to take a look at the new vnews.com.

The new site includes far more content from the print Valley News than before. In addition, our first online editor, Maggie Cassidy, will be working with her colleagues to create and enhance local web content. In coming days we will also add an e-edition, in which users can browse through an online version of the print newspaper.

The new site is driven by a newsroom production system from Digital Technology International, which we’ve spent the past year installing not only at the Valley News but at all the newspapers in our family-owned company, Newspapers of New England. It’s the first time we’ve all been on the same system, and it’s our first system capable of producing both the print newspapers and our websites.

Several users have asked whether they’ll eventually have to pay for access. The answer is yes.

Starting on Jan. 3, we’ll ask print subscribers to pay an additional 25 cents a week for unlimited online access. That will bring the base price for a print and online subscription to $4.50 a week, with discounts for longer-term commitments. If you are a current print subscriber, you will be able to register and use the website with no additional charge until you renew. At that time, if you don’t want online access you can opt out and avoid paying the additional quarter.

We’ll be offering online-only subscriptions at the same rate as print subscriptions, as well as day passes providing unlimited access to the site for $1 daily, $2 on Sundays. Visitors who’d prefer not to pay are welcome to scan the home page for headlines and, provided they register, read up to five free articles a month.

We believe these are reasonable fees, given the value of round-the-clock access to our news content, calendar listings and ads. In addition, our costs have gone up with the new site, not down.

Until Jan. 3, you’re invited to explore the site as often and deeply as you’d like. I hope you’ll share your reactions. You’re welcome to post comments or questions publicly on the Valley News Facebook page, and you can also email me at dmcclory@vnews.com.

Thanks to all of our readers and advertisers for your interest and continued support.