Murdoch’s Times to offer daily energetic and purposeful mass debates behind its controversial paid for firewall

The Times is to offer daily live debates and discussions as part of a range of incentives to encourage readers to pay for access to its website. News International contacted preview subscribers this week to disclose a few of the new features it plans to bring in when it introduces paywall barriers to the websites of The Times and Sunday Times newspapers in June. In addition to daily discussions with political, cultural, business and sporting figures Times Online, which will be relaunched as Thetimes.co.uk, will offer greater interaction with its reporters. The planned launch of a stand-alone website for the Sunday Times will see it introduce a “culture planner”. The interactive feature promises weekly events calendars, critics recommending “must-sees”, video previews, a ticket booking facility and remote TV recording through the site – presumably with a link to Sky’s set-top technology. In the promotional material News International also said its new Times website would allow readers the opportunity to “become part of the debate and engage with the news”. The publisher said it will also allow readers to “ask our journalists about their stories” while an OpEd Live feature will let “columnists and contributors bring their comment pieces to life online” however it does not go into detail on how these new features may work. News International announced last month that from June readers would be charged GBP 1 for a day’s access to the websites of its quality newspapers or GBP 2 for a week’s subscription. Payment will allow access to both websites

http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=45358

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