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Front Page » January 26, 2012 » Carbon County News » Paperless newspaper: Sun Advocate launches new digital ed...
Published 1,059 days ago

Paperless newspaper: Sun Advocate launches new digital edition


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

In the last year we at the Sun Advocate have been running stories based on what appeared on the front pages of our paper for the 120 years we have been in the business. That business has been and is putting the news in front of eyes in Carbon County. We have had a lot of positive comments about what we have done in this series, the longest set of articles ever published in the local papers in this area. The series will wrap up next week.

It is good to look back, but as a newspaper and a business serving our community, we also must look ahead. In this age of varied communications, local newspapers, particularly in small communities, are still the trusted names in bringing stories about the community to citizens. We want that to continue to be true for a long time.

Over the past year, the Sun Advocate has been making minor changes to its format, content and overall direction, moving toward that future.

The nation and world have watched as many daily news publications have struggled to stay afloat - some unsuccessfully, The Sun Advocate staff members have been working to find that balance between changing with the times and continuing the tradition of quality community print journalism.

With the advent of the Internet to the masses 20 years ago, many people have become accustomed to obtaining their information for free. We have aided in that because our website carries more stories and information about the community than any other community paper website in Utah. Look at other papers websites in the small communities of our state and you'll see what I mean. And we have done this at no cost to you. The problem is, as altruistic as we might want to be, it is difficult to give away most of one's entire product or service and remain in business in today's world

Since its inception, the Sun Advocate's website at www.sunad.com, has offered more than 70 percent of our stories over the web. Over the years, the request for additional free content on the site has also increased, with some saying we should put 100 percent of our content on our site.

Despite the fact we have been able to increase business advertising on the web site considerably over the last year, the financial support we get to run the web is only a small portion of what it takes to fund our operation. It is the advertisers of the the twice weekly print edition and our print specials that allow the Sun Advocate to continue its mission of striving to provide the best in quality community journalism to Carbon County residents.

It is those advertisers that provide the Sun Advocate the opportunity to continue to publish high school sports, what is happening at area city council and commission meetings, who is celebrating a milestone birthday or anniversary, feature stories about area residents and events and the many other things we provide within our pages.

While a minor percentage of the Sun Advocate's revenue comes from individual newspaper or subscription sales, obituary, wedding, missionary and other social fees, it is the advertisers who make it possible to read about what is happening in area schools.

It is area business owners - many of the Sun Advocate's readers' friends and neighbors - who allow for the publication of who made the honor roll, who was named player of the week or the school page we present each Thursday during the school year.

While it has long been a struggle to find that perfect balance, between the actual physical newspaper one can hold in his or her hands, where one can cut out an article or picture to hang on the refrigerator door or send to family, friends or loved ones, the desire to get the news on line anywhere one is at by utilizing today's technology, is great. Consequently the Sun Advocate is excited to announce the best of all worlds; both the a print and online e-edition.

For a number of years we had an e-edition of the paper that was separate from the website. It was a PDF based format and admittedly a bit clunky to use. It did, however, give the subscribers who wanted that service the ability to see the entire paper over the Internet. The cost of doing that for the subscriber was also very high because of the business arrangement we had with the company that was assisting us with that service. But all of those negatives will change today as we introduce our new e-edition.

As the Sun Advocate's gift to its readers - both current and future - the e-edition will be accessible as a trial edition, free of charge, starting today through Friday, Feb. 3. After that time, access will be available via paid subscription.

Once the trial period for the e-edition ends it will not be available for viewing online at sunad.com.

For those residing out of the area, the e-edition may also provide an exceptional opportunity for addressing postal delays in newspaper delivery, which have the potential of worsening as the U.S. Postal Service continues to make changes to its overall system - possibly closing down and/or consolidating hundreds of mail processing centers.

What you will see during the trial period is a paper on line, with flip style pages and full color (where color is placed in the regular paper). Many of the specials we produce each month will also be available with the new e-edition, which we call the Electronic Paperboy.

See page 3A for a breakdown of print and e-edition rates for both in and out of area subscribers.

We hope you like what you see when you view our new electronic paperboy. Thanks for reading the Sun Advocate.

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January 26, 2012
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