Beginning May 5, the News Record will begin printing only on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Those issues will arrive in your mailbox rather than at your doorstep.
We will continue to publish a daily news product online, which you can access from your phone, computer or tablet. It will continue to have the same features that we provide every day both in print and online.
The Tuesday and Weekend editions will feature most of what we have included for the 45 years that we’ve produced a daily paper. Those editions certainly will continue to report on the community as we have for the past 116 years.
The change reflects a move that, while difficult to make, is necessary in this time of declining revenues in print journalism overall. That, coupled with an unprecedented pandemic, forces the change. No small business will escape the response to this pandemic unscathed, and as small businesses that rely on the small businesses in their communities, newspapers have a special challenge. We must find a way to produce local news in a more cost-effective way.
That brings us to fewer “print” publication days while expanding “digital” stories and opportunities. As always, print subscribers have free access to our website.
We regret that the jump to a predominantly digital format may frustrate some of our older readers who don’t have the technology readily available to them to be able to read the News Record online every day. Trust us, we understand how people like to sit down with the newspaper and get a little ink on their hands as they pore through it.
But change is inevitable. Changing readership and advertising habits as well as this pandemic has forced much change more quickly across America than anyone could have predicted. We now have telemedicine, teleconferencing, working remotely and widespread online education from the elementary level through college — none of which would have emerged as quickly as they have without that enormous push brought on by COVID-19.
Our readership reflects that change. The number of users visiting the News Record’s website has more than doubled since the coronavirus has entered our lives.
Those changes that will be happening around us can be likened to the livery stables of the past. The only ones that survived were those that transitioned into repair shops for the new-fangled automobiles.
The News Record is not alone in changing and adapting. Newspapers across the country — large, small and in between — are adapting. As an example, several months ago, the Rapid City Journal reduced its print publication days to three days a week. Other newspapers in Wyoming and across the nation have cut hours, pay and positions.
“The change is necessary, but we’ll still be around,” said News Record Editor Ann Turner.
“We remain committed to bringing you the news of Gillette — a job we take seriously. We understand how important it is to cover our community,” she said. “It is our job to bring you news of its accomplishments and occasionally its failures; it is our pleasure to share with you stories about your neighbors.”
The News Record will continue to do that daily online and twice weekly in print.