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Media adapt to changing times

May 19, 2012
Editorial by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise: Publisher Catherine Moore, Managing Editor Peter Crowley

Even living in the peaceful Adirondacks, we receive messages every minute, causing information overload. It started with news being spread via the "town crier," then newspaper, radio, television and more recently through the Internet, social media, texting, etc.

Overwhelmed by what to absorb and what to ignore, we can be left suffering from filtering failure.

That is why newspapers have stood the span of time, with responsible editors and journalists gathering, sorting and presenting the most important news that people of a community need to know.

The printed newspaper is preferred by many, partly because it can be read in a quiet, uninterrupted atmosphere. Some who read our website expect the same experience, but comparing newspaper in print to online is like comparing apples to oranges.

Our website delivers robust content that is free of charge, supported by the digital ads. As a multimedia news site, it is like print, TV and radio all wrapped into one product. The same complaints of noise and intrusiveness experienced with radio and TV are also sometimes expressed about websites. The solutions are the same as with those media: If you find it intrusive, just mute the sound. You can also switch to the printed paper.

We've had online readers ask us to get rid of ads with audio and/or video. While we can see where they're coming from, we have to weigh that against the wishes of the advertisers, who, like print readers but not online ones, are paying customers.

The discussion among news organizations continues on what the most sustainable business model is: paid digital subscriptions, sometimes with a certain amount of free use per month, or totally free online content supported by ads. In the meantime, we offer you choices of two different ways to experience the newspaper. You can pay to subscribe to the printed product that you can take time to read in the quiet of your home, or you can get it free online, sometimes with sound, video and moving graphics.

The printed newspaper is chock-full of news and entertainment, with some content that isn't offered online such as comics and nationally syndicated columns. It also gives you a concrete sense of how much there is to take in each day (online, it can seem a bit bottomless), and it has the added benefit that you can clip out articles - as well as coupons that will save you money.

Our website has plenty of benefits, too. It can be updated immediately, so you can check it for news 24/7, not just once a day. It's a wonderful historical resource since old content is easily accessible. And it makes it easy to engage your friends and family with news you thought was interesting: through social media or by emailing links to articles. Plus, on our CU website you can browse through galleries of thousands of our staff's photos - a visual archive of our communities that we could never do in print. And if you really like a picture, you can buy it right then and there in a wide variety of formats, from prints on photo paper to coffee mugs.

It is up to you which newspaper experience you prefer, or how you divide your time between them. Either way, we thank you for reading, we thank those who buy the paper especially, and we hope you all patronize the advertisers that help support the quality journalism you deserve to read.



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