Editor's Letter

mlett@thestate.comNovember 30, 2012 

Spreading the news has never been more dynamic.

Today, the work of newspaper journalists flows with amazing speed and impact through an array of platforms: the pages of the paper, across the Internet, on smart phones and tablets.

Over the course of a day, tens of thousands of people read the printed editions of The State. Over a year, tens of millions of pages of content are consumed on thestate.com,

The result: More readers than ever are receiving The State's content in ways they choose.

Starting Tuesday, The State will pull it all together by providing fresh options for digital and print subscriptions for new and existing customers.

The move is part of a national trend as newspaper companies serve news-hungry customers who value both print and digital information. From Greenville and Charleston to California and New York, newspapers offer fee plans to access print and digital products. More than 300 newspapers in South Carolina and across the nation now charge a fee to access content on websites and mobile sites. Many more intend to follow.

Here at home, The State Plus plan that begins this week will provide several digital subscription options. Among those is a digital "bundle" that makes available the printed newspaper, thestate.com, gogamecocks.com, our mobile site (m.thestate.com), our iPhone and Android apps and our electronic E-edition replica of the newspaper. Each platform will include stories, blogs, photographs, surveys, updates and breaking news offerings.

Subscribers to The State can add the digital bundle to their newspaper subscription for an additional $2.77 per month. Readers who do not have a newspaper subscription and want only digital access can acquire the digital bundle for $8.95 per month or $99 a year.

Where some newspapers have opted to put virtually all content behind a "wall" that requires a fee, The State is taking a different approach. Some portions of thestate.com will remain free, giving customers an opportunity to access all advertising and section fronts. Among those free offerings is our Homepage, which we proudly call "South Carolina's Homepage."

There will be limited access to other pages, such as those for breaking news, opinions and commentary. During a 30-day period, customers will be able to access without charge as many as 15 such pages before being required to subscribe or wait until the next 30-day period to access additional news content.

We thank you for reading The State, regardless of the platform you prefer. We also recognize that change brings questions. I encourage you to review some Frequently Asked Questions available at thestate.com/plus. Here are several examples:

Q. What if I already renewed my newspaper subscription? Do I have to pay extra now?
A. The digital bundle charges will begin with your next renewal. If you've already renewed your newspaper subscription for three, six or 12 months, you'll have access to the digital package without charge until your current subscription is due for renewal.

Q. I have a subscription to The State but not for all seven days. Do I still receive the home delivery discount for a digital subscription?
A. Yes, regardless of the frequency of your home-delivered subscription, you will add the digital bundle in your new rates. Your digital access (online, or via mobile and tablet devices) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week even if your newspaper delivery is limited to weekdays, weekends or some other combination.
Q. If I have a computer at home and a computer at the office, do I need to purchase two digital subscriptions?
A. No. You can log in using your account username and password from wherever you access the Internet.


Link to FAQs

Link to subscription page

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