Local newspapers such as ours are facing some of the most challenging times which will undoubtedly put the future of many in serious doubt. 

That’s why we’re making some changes which will help us all right now – and forever. The coronavirus outbreak has meant advertising revenues have fallen off the edge of a cliff – quite literally – overnight. 

And this comes after a decade of declining revenues and circulations which had already left many newspapers struggling to survive anyway. Members of the public seem to think newspapers will be things that will be around forever – but if advertisers and readers desert them, they won't be.

The appetite for news may be stronger than it has ever been but unfortunately, this has not been matched by a willingness to actually pay for it. No-one likes a paywall, right? Media websites such as ours attract millions of visitors a month but struggle to generate anywhere near enough revenue to fund the cost of the content readers expect.

For every newspaper, the revenue split is still probably best described as pennies online, pounds in the paper. That cannot continue. Newspapers such as ours need to investigate ways in which our content – which is time-consuming, staff intensive and consequently expensive to produce – can fund itself long into the future.

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It’s the only way newspapers will survive and we hope our readers accept and appreciate that.

If you’re reading this, you obviously already have an interest in what’s happening in the world around you – and you’ll appreciate the role the Chronicle plays in keeping our communities informed. You could play a small but meaningful part in helping the Chronicle carry on this valuable service which no-one else offers the people of Barnsley.

We are introducing an optional pay-if-you-can function in order to sustain quality journalism. This will enable us to continue to report on issues that matter to you, whilst helping readers to avoid fake news. It’s much better for us all if our readers, not our advertisers, are the main source of our revenue.

We have to earn your money with a great product. You can support us by registering with our trusted payment partner, Axate. It takes two minutes and there are no subscriptions or contracts. With Axate you stay in control: you decide what to pay for – and there are no hidden extras.  

You can begin by topping up your Axate account with as little as £3 in credit (via card or PayPal). When you read your first article, 20p will be deducted from your opening balance (you won’t be asked to pay anything further for the rest of the day).

The rest of the money stays in your wallet until you’re ready to spend it. You can authorise any future payments individually or choose to automatically deduct them from your balance. The great news is that you can also read other quality publications via Axate.