Publisher's column: Help us put a premium on local content
Content. Content. Content. It's all about the content.
That's the conclusion the newspaper industry came to after dealing with the impact of the Great Recession. Give readers more of what they want; more of what they can't read, watch or listen to anywhere else and the audience will flock to your print products, websites, mobile sites, e-editions, etc.
Seems a pretty easy answer in retrospect. It's what has always set newspapers apart from other media. More volume of stories, more in-depth stories and more stories about the communities we call home.
It's a simple recipe. Not too complicated. Nothing fancy. Just all the news that's fit to print, or pixilate, or digitize, or whatever form it is you read our content.
So, while we may get most excited about our latest innovations in the digital world — what with our optimized websites fit for any device, and our ad systems that deliver responsive ads and target consumers — our print product chugs along with less fanfare.
Still, we know our print product remains important to you and to us.
That's why we're going to offer our loyal print subscribers specialty content several times a year starting in May. On May 8 & 9, we will publish and deliver our first RiverTown Premium Edition. Each edition will focus on a single topic, allowing our talented journalists the opportunity to explore topics in greater deal, while also showcasing the work of our designers and print plant crew.
The topic of our inaugural section is the river. As we were reminded with the flood of 2019, what happens on the river affects us all. Therefore, the first theme is "River is Life."
Home-delivery customers will receive one or two additional RiverTown Premium Editions this year, with topics and distribution dates to be announced later.
The RiverTown Premium Edition venture requires an investment in content creation, printing and distribution. Each edition carries an additional subscription price of $2 per issue. You don't have to do anything to receive this new section; it will be included in the May 8 or 9 paper delivered to your mailbox. You won't see an additional $2 charge on your billing statement. Instead, this investment in your local newspaper will be deducted from your balance, resulting in an earlier expiration date for your current newspaper subscription.
The RiverTown Premium Edition will not be available at newsstands. Copies of the "River is Life" section can be purchased for $3 at the Red Wing Republican Eagle.
Subscribers can opt out. That's your choice. However, I am asking for your support, guaranteeing RiverTown Premium Edition will be worth the added subscription cost. Your purchase will help us to continue to provide high quality local reporting and photography. In addition to receiving a specialty edition, you're investing in community journalism.
If you have questions, please call 800-284-3402 and speak to one of our customer service representatives.
Meanwhile, we'll keep working hard to improve the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages, Hastings Star Gazette, Hudson Star Observer, New Richmond News, Pierce County Herald, Red Wing Republican Eagle, River Falls Journal, South Washington County Bulletin and Woodbury Bulletin, both in print and digital.
Thank you for your loyal readership.