When I began my newspaper career — further back sometimes than I like to admit — the internet was still a fairly new phenomenon. The web platforms we all see and use today were simply dreams back then. When I crafted my first story, so long ago, I couldn’t imagine how much of an impact the World Wide Web would have, not only on the world, but also our industry.
The internet has evolved over the years, and with it the way we structure and present news. For more than 200 years, the print product was the unquestioned king. The newspaper — held in our hands or carried under our arms — was the primary tool to deliver news. The internet, of course, changed all of that. Not all at once, but slowly over time.
Now, a newspaper’s website is just as critical a piece to the overall news product as the actual newspaper. Most in our industry realized — some early on, some later — the power of the internet in terms of making us more versatile and flexible. There are no space restrictions on the web. Stories can be as long or as short as needed.
That isn’t always the case with a newspaper. There are only so many pages — or so much space — per edition.
The internet has also changed the newspaper business. In some ways the change has been good, in others not so good. Overall, though, the changes delivered by the advent of the internet have enhanced, rather that detracted, from our news product.
Our website at the East Oregonian is always a work in progress in terms of finding the right way to deliver news, but it is one of the most powerful elements to our daily task to deliver our product. While we are no longer a daily newspaper, we post stories on our website every day, sometimes hourly. That means a subscriber isn’t confined to waiting on the print product to arrive to find out what is going on locally.
Our webpage and our print product compliment each other. Both are essential pillars to our overall news operation, but both fulfill different roles for different people.
Internally, we see both as key pieces to our long-term goals. However, the internet is only going to continue to evolve and we must evolve with it.
Now, we provide a solid print product and a growing web presence. Readers can find updated stories on our website every day.
Things have changed greatly since I first became a journalist, and one of the most exciting things back then was the potential of the internet.
It’s still just as exciting nearly 20 years later.
Andrew Cutler is the publisher/editor of the East Oregonian.
Website of source