Beginning Tuesday, the Belleville News-Democrat is launching a digital subscription package for readers who use bnd.com.
BND subscribers can continue to visit bnd.com at no extra cost until their subscriptions renew, then they'll pay a small fee for access to the website.
People who don't subscribe to the BND now but regularly visit bnd.com will begin paying for access to the website.
Visit bnd.com/plus to get details about subscription packages and pricing.
The BND isn't the first newspaper company to charge for access to its website. Some have offered digital subscriptions for several years, and more are doing so each year.
While access to bnd.com has been free for many years, the cost of providing local news and other content for the site continues to rise.
We believe charging a small fee for digital access will help pay for the considerable expenses involved in news gathering and publishing on multiple platforms and protect our original content.
The BND is the biggest news organization with the largest staff of journalists in Southern Illinois. Our award-winning reporters and photographers cover news and sports across the region and state. We tell the stories of local people, places and events at bnd.com and in the BND every day. Our watchdog journalism is nationally recognized for holding government and public officials accountable.
Our reporters post breaking news, updated throughout the day, at bnd.com. Readers can get breaking news on their computer, tablet, smartphone or even in their e-mail.
Besides breaking news, the website offers photo galleries, databases and video that is not available in print and gives readers the opportunity to debate important public issues. We also give you access to the e-Edition replica of the printed newspaper on your computer or tablet.
We are as committed as ever to continuing to make this kind of coverage available to you on many different platforms. But it takes a considerable investment of resources. We can no longer do it for free.
Charging for digital access is the right thing to do.
-- Jeffry Couch
Editor & Vice President, BND and bnd.com