The Brainerd Dispatch will soon require its online readers to register on its Web site in order to access its local stories.
Denny Newman, Brainerd Dispatch new media director, said beginning Thursday online readers can preregister to become a member of the Dispatch Web site at www.brainerddispatch.com.
Online readers will be required to register on May 26 to access current local stories and past stories in the archives.
Newman said all visitors will be allowed to view the Dispatch's home page and the news section fronts. The section fronts will include the local headlines along with a short description of the story.
Visitors will not have to register to view the classifieds; Associated Press world, national and state news; movie and television information; or the special sections.
Newman said there is no cost to register online, but a person needs to have an active e-mail address. He also said registering is easy and only takes a few seconds.
The Dispatch is requiring readers to register online so it can get a better understanding of who reads the Dispatch, said Newman. He said this will give the newspaper a better idea about the type of news and information the online readers are interested in.
Newman also said registering online will help business owners and other people who place ads in the newspaper get a taste of who is looking at their ads online. Newman said the Dispatch will give its online advertisers the ZIP codes of registered members, but the remaining information will remain confidential.
To register, visitors will need to fill out a form that is linked to the home page. Visitors will be asked to create a user name of at least six characters and a password and provide an e-mail address, gender, complete address, phone number, occupation and hobbies. Registered members also will be asked if they currently subscribe to the Dispatch.
"There will be no phone solicitation," said Newman. "However they could receive up to four e-mails a month with special member offers from us and our advertisers."
Newman encourages readers to preregister so they don't have to wait for the Dispatch to e-mail the member validation. People who preregister will be allowed to enter a contest for a chance to win one of six prizes, including a golf package, an ipod shuffle and gas cards.
For more information on how to register, readers can go to www.brainerddispatch.com/docs/reg_faqs.shtml.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5851.
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