A year ago today, we asked something of you.

We asked our valued readers to join us as we entered a new era in modern media.

The launch of the Premium paywall, our NZME-wide digital subscription service, was a first at this scale.

The service not only brings you the best in local journalism from the Whanganui Chronicle, but also the best from the New Zealand Herald and regional newsrooms across the country as well as a quality international offering.

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You have access to expanded business, political and investigative journalism, insightful analysis and expert commentary.

We have been heartened and humbled by your support. Nationwide and beyond thousands have bought a subscription in the past year - thank you, your support helps sustain our journalism and is deeply appreciated.

It was a bold move, but a necessary one. At a time when you are turning to us in record numbers, the media has never been under greater financial pressure.

Former Steelform Wanganui loose forward Cade Robinson was very relieved to be home after a shortened but championship-winning season with his English rugby club. Photo / File
Former Steelform Wanganui loose forward Cade Robinson was very relieved to be home after a shortened but championship-winning season with his English rugby club. Photo / File

While the majority of our online content remains free, it was important to put a stake in the ground to support the very best, unique and exclusive journalism.

Thanks to you, our print and online subscribers, we've been able to tell more in-depth local stories about local people, places and things.

At a time when, sadly, local sport is largely on hold, we can reflect that when we launched Premium our sports stories drove a large number of sign-ups.

A 93-year-old was able to save a lot of items in her bedroom including clothes and Christmas presents. Photo / Lewis Gardner
A 93-year-old was able to save a lot of items in her bedroom including clothes and Christmas presents. Photo / Lewis Gardner

One of our most popular articles in the past year took us on a journey 50km up the Whanganui River on the MV Wairua.

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We talked to a former Whanganui man about his "apocalyptic" experience in the New South Wales bush fires, a 93-year-old local woman in a wheelchair who was saved from her burning house by a young neighbour, a deaf Whanganui woman who waited two years for a cochlear implant only to be denied at the last minute.

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The Chronicle looked into the state of Whanganui's water.
The Chronicle looked into the state of Whanganui's water.

We brought you news of a racism row over the naming of a new street, of local opposition to seabed mining, and an investigation into the state of Whanganui's water.

And while a lot of our Covid-19 coverage has been free to read online, especially important health and safety information, there have been a few Premium gems, like the story about a $12.99 cauliflower that upset a few locals, and high-level officials in Wellington. We found out about Dale Jellyman's Lockdown Hymnbook project, and heard about Dr Andrew Zimmerman's Covid-19 experiences in Italy.

A year after launch, it remains just as true that now, more than ever, we need your help to continue to deliver the news you can trust.

To those who have already joined us, welcome. If you are yet to, we look forward to having you onboard in future.

- The Whanganui Chronicle team