2006-12-07 / Editorial


We're all local all the time

Newspapers are making news as much as reporting news these days. The big metro newspapers - the dailies - are struggling with declining circulation and therefore sagging readership. These stalwart media giants are no longer the unchallenged kings of the hill.

We're surrounded with news. It is immediate and always on. Besides newspapers, we've got television, radio, and the Internet. The news now even comes on our cell phones.

The Internet, once the new kid on the block, has come of age. More people are relying on the Internet to keep abreast of the news from next door and around the world. It seems we're always connected to the 'net, whether at home, at work or on the road.

One newspaper group is even trying a novel experiment with its daily newspapers in Florida. They are eschewing the national and international news and instead focusing on local news. The newspapers have booted their reporters out of the newsroom, turning them into mobile reporting units. These reporters are filing their stories from the field via notebook computers and wireless connections. They are posting the news to their Web sites before it is printed in the newspapers.

One bright spot in this new media-scape is the community newspaper. Weekly publications across the nation report a consistent healthy growth in readership and advertising revenue. That's because the weeklies deliver the community news that people want to read.

Here at the Jamestown Press we've always known our greatest strength is community journalism. We exist solely to report the hometown details every week. That's our niche.

More than a year ago we expanded our Web site JamestownPress.com to include all the news and advertising published weekly in our newsprint edition. Your response has been astonishing. Last month, we had more than 225,000 hits to our site - that's 7,600 per day. We had 4,000 page views per day in November, with visitors averaging slightly more than seven minutes at our Web site.

That means people are reading the Press online. People are clicking on to our advertisers' Web sites.

As always, we'll continue to deliver the printed newspaper to you each week. But in the months ahead, we will be experimenting with our online edition. Click on our Web site for frequent updates on local news. And we'll be bringing you new online features in the form of multimedia slideshows and video reporting.

Now, more than ever, we're all local all the time. And we're available 24/7.

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