Digital access

The Herald-Independent and McFarland Thistle is changing the way you access our digital products.

Effective Oct. 1, we are moving to a subscription-based model for our online content. If you are a subscriber to the newspaper, your subscription includes total access to our full website.

The newspaper is your source for vitally important local news and information. We cover the news in the community where you live, work and raise a family. We deliver it to you in a timely fashion and in a variety of formats for today’s world, in print and digital, by computer, tablet or smartphone.

No matter how you want to receive your local news, we have you covered.

If you want only the digital products – whether you live outside our regular distribution area or just prefer to read your news online or on your phone – you can subscribe to digital-only access (website and e-edition) for just $3 per month.

FAQs

Why the change? 

Our readers have told us they want the newspaper in multiple formats and in a timely manner. With these changes and improvements, our goal is to meet and exceed all of our readers’ needs. We are simplifying the process to receive our content in the format that works best for you.

Your website was free. Why do I have to pay for it now?

Readers of our print editions have always paid for subscriptions or single copies of the newspaper. News gathering is an expensive and labor-intensive part of any news media. It is simply not possible to continue free distribution of our valued news content.

We are also expanding our digital content. Previously, we posted only a limited amount of our news online for free. Now, almost everything that appears in print will also appear online. We will also be adding some special digital-only content for subscribers only. World and national news and sports will be expanded online as well to become your one-stop source for all the news you need to keep up.

Does this mean you will discontinue printing a newspaper?

Not at all. The print edition is still our primary product. These changes are all enhancements to digital editions and are now being included as part of your print subscription. If you prefer digital only, this is now available, but we strongly believe (as do our thousands of print readers) that our news coverage and content is worth paying for.

Is anything still going to be available on your website for free?

Yes. National and world news, along with college and professional sports coverage, will be on our website outside the paywall. In addition, some of our local stories will be selected as “Editor’s Pick” and available for anyone to read.

Services on our website will be available at no charge, such as reading or placing classified ads, accessing forms to submit community news items, and other basic information.

What is a Total Access subscription? 

A regular home delivery subscription will automatically include both the print edition and full access to all our digital content, including all stories and information on our website.

You will need to register on the website, and your subscription will be connected to your online user account.

You can now have unlimited access to all our content: the print edition delivered to your home or office by the U.S. Postal Service each week and our digital content at your fingertips by computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. You can access our news content 24 hours a day, seven days a week, wherever you are, including important breaking news, searching past stories, viewing additional photos, videos, special editions, and commenting on stories.

What is a Premium Membership subscription?

We publish nine community newspapers in the region. If you subscribe to our print edition, for just $3 per month additional, you will have access to all of these newspapers’ online content, not just The Herald-Independent and McFarland Thistle, at www.hngnews.com.

I currently subscribe to the newspaper. How do I get total access?

Go to our website at mcfarlandthistle.com, click on a local news or sports story and then click on the “Already a Print Subscriber?” button when the “Subscription Required” box appears. You’ll be prompted to the next steps. Prior to Oct. 1, you will only be prompted to register as the site is still free.

How does the digital-only subscription work?

It works just like a regular subscription, but without a printed copy of the newspaper delivered to you. With a digital-only subscription, you will have unlimited access to all digital content, across all platforms. Signing up is easy. The first time you access an electronic copy of a story, you will be prompted to register or login. You can then set up your digital-only subscription with a secure online payment.

Is the “subscribe” window a secure URL? 

Yes. You’ll see it’s an https URL. That means it is secure.

How do I access my digital subscription?

Go to the newspaper’s website with any device. You will be asked to log in to your account with your username and password. You don’t have to do anything else to access the digital content.  First-time users who haven’t yet activated should begin by visiting our home page and click on any story to get the form to register.

I don’t want to subscribe, but I want to read one story or access all your digital content online for one day.

You can do that. When you click on a story, you will see the form to register or login. After registering and logging in, select the Day Pass for $1 – the same cost as buying one copy of the printed newspaper.

Can everyone in my household use the same digital account?

Yes. However, you may not share your login and password information with those outside your household.

I want to try it out before subscribing. Can I do that?

For the month of September, you can register as a user and sign up for a 30-day free digital subscription. Give us a try. We think you’ll become a regular reader and subscriber.

What is the cancellation policy?

You may cancel your subscription at any time. When you cancel, your service stops – print and digital. We will refund any remaining balance on your account, minus a $5 service fee. Balances less than $5 will not refunded but can be donated to the Newspaper-in-Education program that funds newspapers to local classrooms.

Can I set up an automatic payment program?

For the best subscription price, sign up for an EZ PAY account with automatic recurring payments to ensure your subscription doesn’t accidentally lapse. Follow the instructions online, or call our customer service department at 608-764-0299.

I have a computer at home, another at my office, and I use my smartphone to read the news. Do I need to purchase multiple digital subscriptions?

No. Just sign in using your account username and password from wherever you access the internet and from any device: your home computer, work computer, tablet, smartphone or an internet café in an airport on the other side of the world. Wherever you are, we’ll be there providing you with the latest news from home.

All prices are monthly rates and are subject to change at any time. Certain days during the year may be considered premium days and entail a surcharge.

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