Tonawanda News

April 28, 2013

A word on print reduction announcement

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — I want to take today’s column to address our recent announcement we will cease publishing a Tuesday edition starting in May, and also discuss some positive changes coming to the Tonawanda News print and online editions.

I understand the disappointment some of you may feel with the reduction to a five-day newspaper. I’m the managing editor, but, like you, I’m also a reader. I take seriously the responsibility of safeguarding the paper’s mission of informing the community about news you care about.

As an editor in the digital world, I also understand how people get their news is changing. In gathering and distributing local news, we have to keep pace with what you, the readers, expect and want.

Increasingly, more of you are reading the news online. Still, many still prefer to unfold a newspaper on the kitchen table. I’m one of them. There’s something inspiring aobut a great front page that the Internet doesn’t deliver.

Yet I’m also heartened by the steady growth of readership on our website. While our print circulation has declined — as is the case at newspapers everywhere — the rise in online readership serves as an important reminder that local content generated by our reporters, photographers and editors is still valued.

Though our print schedule will change, our ability to gather the news will not. With one less day of print presence I’ve asked for, and will demand, more and better content from the staff, myself included, in the paper and on our website, www.tonawanda-news.com.

With that in mind, let me outline some changes in how we’re going to do that.

First, we will redouble our efforts to maintain a fresh, engaging online presence 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When important local news breaks, we will strive to be the first and best source of information on our website. We will also continue to embrace the social media outlets that many of you turn to when national or local news affects your lives.

In that spirit, I’m jumping into the pool. I’ve been on Twitter for some time but never felt the need to advertise it in the paper. But readers deserve as many ways to interact with the editor of their local paper as possible. So I invite you to join me on Twitter: @EricRDuVall. You can also follow several of our reporters and editors, and the paper’s official Twitter account, @tonanews and sports account, @tonanewssports.

There will also be improvements in our news presentation in print. Too many people feel overwhelmed by the flood of information in this 24/7 instant news cycle world. The daily newspaper gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on what the news means.

Starting in May, the Sunday paper will provide readers with more depth and context on those issues and developments important to our market. It will feature stories from all of our writers on local government, the schools your children attend, public safety and the local economy.

We hope you spend a significant amount of time reading and enjoying the Sunday paper as well as the print editions we produce the other days of the week.

Now, I’d like to conclude with something we can’t say often enough: Thank you. We sincerely appreciate the support of our readers and advertisers. You are what make this paper relevant.

Yes, we face challenging times. But I have faith that the communities we serve will continue to value and support our local journalism.

Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. Contact him at eric.duvall@tonawanda-news.com or follow him on Twitter, @EricRDuVall.

Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. Contact him at eric.duvall@tonawanda-news.com or follow him on Twitter, @EricRDuVall.