Of fancy pixels and loyalty to pulp
-December 19th, 2013
I’m often asked whether there is a future for newspapers.
It’s a valid question, what with all the dizzying growth in Internet-based content, mobile-device applications, and social media. One might wonder if anyone cares about reading a printed newspaper anymore. We think they do, and we know this because of you. You and the majority of Journal of readers still want to receive their news in printed form, on pulp, if you will. You’ve told us so in surveys and in the many opportunities we have to connect with you in the community.
But perhaps it’s the wrong question. Are newspapers in general less relevant because they are printed on pulp, or are they less relevant because what they print on pulp can often become a commodity found abundantly on pixels? We think the latter, which is why we pride ourselves in producing news content you generally can’t find anywhere else, and which you seek out both in pulp and pixels, depending on your need at the moment.
And that’s also why we are making big improvements on both sides of our publishing operation. On the print side, we recently upgraded the quality of paper we print on, and now can offer full-color content and advertising on every page of our paper. We hope you’re already noticing the benefits of those investments, and we’re excited to say that more improvements to our print edition are coming soon.
On the digital side, the changes are even more dramatic. This week, we launched a new website, completely redeveloped from the ground up. We invite you to check it out at www.spokanejournal.com.
That project, done in partnership with Spokane website developer Zipline Interactive, has taken months to complete, and we’re pretty proud of the results. Our goal was to provide our readers with a more robust experience, a better design, more tools, and the latest technology—and to ensure they can experience those features whether viewing our site on a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone.
We especially hope you notice the bigger and more abundant photography, the quicker navigation, and the ability to find the stories you’re most interested in reading. Click on “Local News,” and you’ll be offered the chance to read collections of stories in some of the key economic sectors that drive our local economy. Our editors also will be able to tag individual stories based on more specific topics they think you’ll want to see in collections. And you’ll be able to know more about and connect easier with our reporters and editors, as well as the entire Journal team.
Advertisers will notice that we’ve adopted the industry’s more popular digital ad sizes and are displaying them better than in the past. Subscribers will find it easier to log in and manage their accounts.
I want to give a shout out to the team at Zipline for their hard work and patience, as well as our production manager, Marc Edwards, and his team and our circulation manager, Kathy Minor, for their help in navigating the waters of such a substantial project. I hope you agree that their efforts were worthwhile.
Of course we continue to offer our paper as an E-Edition as well, for those of us who like the look of a traditional newspaper but the convenience of reading it digitally. You can view our digital replica via our website by clicking on E-Edition, or by downloading and using the Journal of Business app for your tablet or smart phone.
Though we’re very excited about our new website, we remain committed to our print edition and will continue to improve that product for years to come. After all, it’s not about pixels versus pulp, it’s about comprehensive business coverage distributed to you in all the ways you want it—in print, online, and on the go. Thanks for reading.