You may have noticed a few changes in our hometown newspaper.
Yes, we are on a diet … kind of. And not one that goes down easy.
With the change in ownership in November of last year, we knew our new higher-ups would be tweaking some of our day-to-day operations and how we deliver news of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley to your doorsteps.
And despite anything you’ve heard about a great American economic recovery, the reality is we are not recovering to where we were five years ago. And while it’s been some time coming, this economic slump has hit home. Here at the Gazette, we have had to face numerous cutbacks, from pay to staffing to resources.
Unfortunately, the economy also affects our product. We put off cutbacks to the print edition of the Sequim Gazette as long as we could, but we have had to trim the paper in size and page count.
That means we’ve had to cut back on a number of features, some you may have come to love, in order to keep what we feel are the key elements of a community newspaper.
As you’ll see in today’s edition and subsequent editions, we have cut back a number of our local and regional columnists. We also eliminated several items, including our comics and, for the time being, our “72 Hours” feature in our Strait Scenes section.
Many of you have noticed changes to our classifieds section, too. It’s a smaller format to be sure — nine columns across rather than six — but we hope that it still meets the needs of those who use that section. We do plan to use a larger map to assist our garage sale aficionados.
After a brief hiatus two weeks ago, our Arts and Entertainment Calendar and Chalk Talk sections are back. We know these are popular features that readers depend on for their news of what’s going on about town or in our schools.
As staffers who are still committed to hometown journalism, we know that these changes require an adjustment in attitude as we try to find the best way to move forward, continuing to provide readers with excellent news coverage of our area in a time of diminishing resources.
One way we’re doing that is by moving some content online. While some of our readers remain steadfast paper-only readers, we know that many of you don’t mind reading your news on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone.
When we helped break news of the tragic area homicides in February, thousands of you (more than 2,200 that day and more than 5,600 that week) found our website through Facebook to learn what was going on and what you needed to know to stay safe.
We use our website more and more to bring you news and we are hoping to add a “green e-edition” feature — an online newspaper — in the near future.
We appreciate every loyal subscriber and advertiser and reader. We thank you for comments in recent weeks about what you’d like to keep in the paper. Your comments and insights are invaluable.
We’re sure we will hear from more of you and that’s a good thing. This is your hometown paper, too.
Reach Sue Ellen Riesau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.