AS editor of the Worcester News, I want as many people as possible to read our stories, so I wish we didn't have to ask people to pay for an online subscription – but we can no longer afford to give away our trusted local journalism for free.

It's no secret that sales of the newspaper have been in decline for years, while businesses which once advertised solely with the Worcester News now also spend their money with Facebook, Google and other online businesses, meaning significantly less for us.

Previously, we relied solely on sales of the newspaper and advertising revenue to stay sustainable, however even with cost efficiencies across the business over the past decade, the industry has seen steep declines. We’ve adapted to continue to keep at the heart of our communities, but now, with the impact of coronavirus, our business (yes, we are a business) is struggling.

Which is why we had to introduce the subscription. We're not asking a lot, just £1 a week – and that's only if you want to read more than 40 articles per 30 days, if you read fewer then you don't have to pay a penny; also, articles with key information on coronavirus will remain entirely free, and the subscription gets you fewer adverts and quicker loading on our site – but all of those pounds added up will make a difference and mean that we can continue to resource professional journalism.

The bottom line is that if you like our website enough to read more than 40 articles every 30 days, we need you to help us keep going.

We know we're not perfect – we have a small team of professionally trained reporters who work very quickly to produce a lot of stories and so errors are inevitably made – but there is no other organisation like us serving Worcester when it comes to providing trusted daily news on almost everything happening in the city, good or bad.

Look at 2020 alone: for the latest updates on the impact and response to the flooding and now Covid-19 in Worcestershire, the Worcester News has been the trusted source. Last year, when the parents of Oscar Saxelby-Lee needed to raise £600,000 to take him to Singapore for life-changing treatment, the Worcester News ran a campaign to help them reach that total.

Those are just a few examples of how the Worcester News has served the people of the city recently, while there are countless other examples in our 85-year history and going all the way back to 1690 with the Berrow's Worcester Journal, our sister title which is the oldest newspaper in the world and also produced by our small team.

So there's a simple message, really: We have had to introduce the website subscription as we can't afford to completely give away our professional journalism online any more. If you don't want to pay to read more than 40 articles a month, we understand. If you do, thank you for supporting the future of trusted local news.

You can subscribe here