I love reading news — no matter how I get it. When I’m preparing to take a trip, I’ll scan news websites to learn about a community, its history and to scout out potential activities. When I arrive, however, I pick up the local newspaper because I gain insight into the people who live there by reading the current events, opinion, arts and sports stories selected by local journalists — rather than some computer algorithm — who know what news is vital to their community.
The Republican Eagle, like small-town news organizations everywhere, needs to be part of both the print and digital worlds as news consumption patterns change. Face it, more and more people want news at their fingertips, which is why more than 50% of RE online readers access our content by mobile device.
Getting the digital/print formula right is the challenge.
On Aug. 1, our transformation to a digital news organization will continue as we go to one day a week in print. The key words here are “in print.”
READ MORE: Republican Eagle moves to weekly publication
We will continue to be a twice-weekly publication with two e-editions — one for Wednesday and one for Saturday — on our website, with only the Saturday product arriving weekly in people’s mailboxes.
We will continue to be a daily news organization — every second of every day — at www.rivertowns.net.
We will continue to deliver relevant, valuable content that readers want and need.
This isn’t the first time the RE has gone with “day elimination” as it’s called in the industry. Thirty years ago at the advent of the internet explosion, the DRE — Daily Republican Eagle — published six days a week. We eventually dropped Monday publication and then in 2009, in the wake of the Great Recession, we went to two days in print.
Each time we’ve made the move, our readership has grown higher than it ever was as a print-only product, because digital audiences are growing and they know no geographic boundaries.
We have decided that now is the time to consolidate print to a single day. In a sense, we are turning to our roots since the Republican began as a weekly publication 163 years ago.
For our print readers, this is a great time to activate the digital membership that comes with your print subscription and make the digital shift with us. You can activate your membership by going online to www.rivertowns.net/activate, emailing email@example.com or calling 800-284-3402. Staff are available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
Activation will give you print delivery on Saturday, access to the full website 24/7, and online delivery of Wednesday and Saturday digital versions of the RE and the Thursday Star-Observer, plus all of the archived pages from when we first began offering e-editions.
For those of you who enjoy the serendipitous nature of newspapers like I do — that sense of discovery each time I turn the page to read something unexpected — the e-edition replicates that experience. You flip through pages in the manner of the printed product, but you also can click to enlarge each article individually, something you can’t do with print. And you still can clip out stories, photos and crossword puzzles.
Starting in July, the e-editions also will have specialty pages that don’t appear in print. Potential e-page extras will include state and nation/world news pages, sports, outdoors, lifestyle, travel and more.
In addition, you also get access to every other Forum Communications Co. news website and the e-editions 20-plus newsrooms produce. All of this is available at no additional cost if you subscribe to the Republican Eagle.
There’s tremendous value to a printed news product. I love the physical nature of print and the tangible nature of the printed word, but I also appreciate what the internet age has brought us. Our news delivery is changing. I hope readers will agree that a weekly paper and a 24/7 news website is the right mix and support us as we report the news of 2020 and beyond.