Keeping our website free

Published 6:38 am Monday, May 13, 2013

Our popular and fast-growing website,, will launch an important partnership with Google next week.

The partnership, if successful, will allow us to keep access to our website free for readers in an era when many newspapers are charging people to visit their sites.

Readers will be asked to answer a couple of questions before reading selected articles. After you answer the questions you will receive full access to the article. It is easy as that.

No one is trying to steal your identity. Your answers will not open the floodgates for junk mail or spam. We simply want to know what you think. More specifically, national corporations and marketing firms want to know Americans’ opinions on all kinds of things. The Google Consumer Survey is easy to use and takes just a second or two.

This decision was not made lightly, but is simply a product of the ever-evolving structure of how news organizations gather and disseminate information and remain a viable business at the same time.

Many news sites have opted to charge readers for an online subscription or set a limit on the number of free articles one can read. We do not want to charge our readers to use our website. We are not asking for your money, but simply a few seconds of your time.

It’s a pretty good deal, we think.

Questions range from general ones about purchasing habits to specific ones about watching a particular television show or choosing which advertisement is more appealing. Here are a few examples:

Which one of these food items would you prefer to eat while watching a sporting event?



Chicken wings


Hot dog

How important is new technology when considering a new vehicle?

Not at all important

Somewhat important

Very important

Ultimately, we want to serve our readers and provide online news free of charge. This helps us to do that.

The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald is committed to remaining the best source for local news, as it has been for nearly 100 years.