www.leaderunion.com will become paid website on March 10

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By The Staff

On March 10, The Leader-Union’s website (www.leaderunion.com) will become a subscription-based site.
On that day, visitors to the website for more than 10 minutes will be given the opportunity to subscribe to the printed product (and thus receive free access to the website), or they may choose to subscribe only to the website.
Current subscribers to The Leader-Union, however, will have unlimited access the site at no additional cost. They merely must enter their customer number (as printed on their newspaper address label) in order to access the website.
“We have enhanced the site and greatly expanded the amount of information on it,” said Dave Bell, publisher of The Leader-Union.
“With the amount of information available on the site, it has become the premier website for Vandalia. No one even comes close to the scope and depth of news, pictures and advertising information on our site.”
As a result, Bell said, visitors to the site must help pay for the cost of gathering and producing the information they are accessing.
“We’ve left access to the site open for a number of months because we wanted people to see all that we offered there. Obviously, we can’t keep doing that forever. Yet, it is our goal to make the transition an easy one.”
As the changes are introduced, non-subscribers will be given the option to sign up for a free 30-day trial, with full access to the site. At the conclusion of that trial period, they will be allowed to subscribe to the printed product (and thereby gain access to the website) or to subscribe only to the website.
The website-only subscription will be offered at the price of an in-county subscription to the printed product ($33 per year), regardless of where the reader resides.
Thus, out-of-county website subscribers will be able to realize a considerable savings from the regular print subscription price – and they will be able to avoid the delays and missing papers they’ve been experiencing with the U.S. Postal Service.
Since unveiling its revised website last June, The Leader-Union staff has placed virtually all the content of the printed product onto the website. The news is available by visiting the various areas of the site, or the actual pages can be viewed as they appear in the printed product.
Additionally, the site contains breaking news, updated news stories, opinions, photo galleries, video reports, local weather reports from The Weather Channel, advertising messages from local businesses and many other features exclusively on the site. The website also includes links to other related sites.
 “Things are changing in the way people prefer to get their news,” Bell said. “Many still want to have the actual newspaper to hold in their hands as they read it; and that’s great. But there is an emerging generation of readers who prefer to get their news online or on one of the new tablets like the iPad or the Kindle. We want to provide the opportunity for both of those groups to keep up with the news of Vandalia and Fayette County.”
For more information on the changes, call The Leader-Union at 283-3374.