When I became Publisher of the News Journal in 2015, one of the first things I wanted to get accomplished was to modernize the newspaper’s website.
It’s been a LONG process getting there, but two weeks ago we did sort of a silent rollout of the new site (www.thenewsjournal.net). For those of you who have been using it, thank you for being our lab rats, so to speak. You’ve helped us sort out a bunch of problems and issues that we’ve been able to fix.
I’m proud of the work that has been done so far.
Don’t get me wrong; we plan to keep adding features and functionality as the weeks go by. The job of updating our website is, by no means, over. My intention is to make www.thenewsjournal.net the most robust, awesome, active weekly newspaper website in Kentucky.
Our old site had outlived its usefulness. Many of you know that it was difficult to view on tablets and mobile phones since it did not have what’s called in the website business “responsive design.” That’s not a problem any longer.
We’ve revamped our digital edition of the newspaper to something I think is more user-friendly and useful.
You’ll also notice that there’s a lot more content on the website than before. Some of that content you simply can’t see unless you pay for it.
Let me explain.
I know the concept of paying for content online is a sore point for some people. We thought long and hard about this before installing what is called a “paywall” on the site. But we simply cannot give away all of what we produce here for nothing. That’s a business model that would lead any business straight into bankruptcy.
The News Journal expends significant capital employing people to produce all the information you receive every week in a convenient format that you can buy for just $1.
I don’t think that’s a bad deal.
Our readers have the option, if they want, of getting all that digitally for even less than they would pay for a normal hard-copy subscription to the newspaper.
Traditional subscribers aren’t left out in the cold, though. You can get the physical copy of the News Journal delivered to your home weekly, and you also receive access to all of the online features on our new website. Things like: the digital edition of the newspaper, access to the News Journal’s ever-growing digital archives, opinion columns and stories that do not appear in the printed edition, breaking news when it happens, ability to leave comments, and the list goes on. We even have an option for people who just maybe want to see a single story or two, or who just need access to all of our features for a short period of time. It’s called a “day pass” and it allows you to see everything on the site, just like a subscriber, for only $1. It’s just like going out and buying a copy of the newspaper from a rack or in a quick mart, except you get so much more.
We plan to add other features in the near future, including the ability to view photo galleries and purchase reprints of pictures through the website and additional games and puzzles for your enjoyment!
SOME OTHER STUFF
• New Corbin Public Library Director made a huge announcement last week during the monthly membership luncheon of the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Plans to expand into an adjoining building, which will nearly double the size of the library, are exciting and forward thinking. I agree with the notion that modern libraries are more than just a repository for books, magazines and other items. The best ones are also gathering places and focal points for our communities. Sounds like the library’s Board of Directors are on the right track.