EDITORíS DESK: All the news thatís fit to put online
The headline across the top of Page 1 this issue is definitely not one I ever thought I'd write.
To those of you let down by the news of our going completely online in January, all I can say is I'm sorry. It was a tough call, one that took us months to decide.
That's also why it's tough to write this, because on one side of the ledger we regret eliminating a printed newspaper that a lot of people have come to count on, maybe even to help them feel a sense of pride in being Westsiders. Or maybe I'm reaching too far there. A disappointing surprise has been how often people in positions of civic leadership on the Westside have had no idea about stories we'd covered that might have helped them avoid bad information or dead-end actions.
But that's a moot point now. Who knows, we may still find that phenomenon when we go online. Although I do think a lot more people are in the habit of getting news that way than when we started the Westside Pioneer a decade ago. What I can say for sure is that we were running out of options as print publishers. The economy continues to drag, so we haven't raised our ad rates for three years. But that hasn't stopped our costs from going up and up. The post office, which all too frequently delays or misses deliveries to our subscribers, still figures it needs to hike its mailing fees every year. And paper suppliers raise their rates even though 30-pound newsprint is now 27-something.
We mentioned health in the Page 1 story. I don't want to go into detail on that (you probably don't either). Think of it as cramming for a final - you know, that feeling of putting everything together at the last minute? Well, that's unavoidable with a print paper where you live on deadline to avoid stale news. So picture that cramming scene once a week for 10 years. I'd like to think it will be less crazy just posting things online as they come together. That's more in the tone of the "other side of the ledger," the positive side. We're looking forward to seeing what we can do with our website. We think a "mom-and-pop" style can work on the Internet, just as it did with printed pages. No annoying pop-up ads, no show-off bells and whistles, just a straight-on, albeit "virtual" place to share Westside news we've found. Same as before but yes, quite different. I'll follow up on this again.