The Isle of Wight County Press, like most of you, has had a challenging 12 months.

Coronavirus has made it more difficult to get to the shop to buy the Island's local paper.

Meanwhile, the number of you who are reading stories on our website has increased hugely. You have been searching for trusted Isle of Wight breaking news, coronavirus information, court updates and more.

From tomorrow (Wednesday), we are making a significant change to the way is run.

If you are a regular online reader, we will be asking you to become a digital subscriber.

How will it work?

If you are an occasional user, viewing fewer than 20 articles per month, you will not see any difference.

Beyond that, if you want to look at more of the hundreds of stories we publish each month, you will have to register.

Then — if you hit 40 stories— you will be asked to pay.

Initially, for only £2 per month, you will not only get our unparalleled news coverage, brought to you by a team of Isle of Wight journalists, but also:

  • more than 50 free puzzles
  • reader offers
  • an advert-light format that so many of you have been asking for

Plus, if you sign up for a year, you will get a £10 takeaway food voucher.

You will also be supporting the journalism that has kept you informed throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, holds councillors, public servants and others to account, and covers decisions made in court, so you know how and when justice is being done.

I am privileged to lead a small team of professional journalists, working hard to provide useful, important, accurate and fair news reporting, both online and on the newstands.

Alongside our own material, we publish words, pictures and video that has been contributed by the Island's community.

We aim to provide a responsible place for you to express your views, highlight the causes closest to you, and draw attention to what you see as injustice.

Looking ahead, I want to continue to demonstrate that the Isle of Wight County Press is very much more than a newspaper – it is a trusted and accountable online hub, a place where information is checked, shared, amplified and used to empower and improve communities.

Where once we reached readers only through newsagents and letterboxes, we now additionally distribute our stories through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email newsletters. These digital platforms allow us to measure the content you enjoy, which in turn means we can deliver more of what you want and less of what you don't.

We are also helping to drive prosperity, by linking businesses with consumers in new, exciting and cost-efficient ways. We employ experts who can help your business navigate the sometimes bewildering field of digital marketing.

We are committed to making local life even better.

I hope you will join us in our mission, because we cannot do it without you.

Proper journalism costs. It is funded partly through advertising, partly through the cover price of the newspaper and, increasingly, through online subscriptions.

I know some of you have been reading the Isle of Wight County Press for many years, and I am deeply grateful for the support you continue to give us.

Please sign up for a digital subscription via this link, which will go live tomorrow:

Alan Marriott, Editor