Amid change, our dedication to providing community news is constant

By Jonathan Key | Jun 25, 2012

Change, in general, can sometimes be difficult, but we feel confident upcoming changes at The Mountaineer will be ones readers will greet with open arms.

Already several online changes have occurred. It was suggested that our columnists were difficult to find online, so we have created a seperate category on the status bar for them.

We will also be placing an emphasis on blogs. Our news staff members have started blogging, and we will be approaching some community members who have a passion for a specific topic to start a blog on our site, as well.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, a blog can be a personal diary of sorts or a themed discussion on a focused topic.

We will be using the blogs on our website to write about politics, sports, hobbies, recipes, religion, parenting, senior issues — and the list goes on. Doing so will provide the means for the writer to reach a much broader audience than might otherwise be possible, and it is one more way that The Mountaineer is the vital link for all who care about Haywood County.

Many online readers have noticed that certain news stories are “premium” content, which means they are available to paid subscribers only. Previously, readers could only receive access to a single premium story for 99 cents. Now that same payment will provide access to all online stories for a 24-hour period.

It is a much better deal, however, to get the online and print subscription for only $70 a year, or to subscribe online only for $60 a year, which is less than 17 cents a day.

However, online readers only readers may miss some community information that only shows up in the print edition.

Readers will notice that most of our online content is available for free. Gathering the news costs money and we need to try and recoup some of those costs.  Charging for online content is becoming standard practice among media organizations as all try to find ways to stay in business and continue providing communities the information they are looking for in a variety of ways. In fact, the Asheville Citizen-Times just announced they will be charging for online content as well. This is something all of us hope our readers understand and embrace.

Another change some readers will notice on July 1 is the return to home delivery — meaning The Mountaineer should be at your home when you wake up each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We’re starting out with the more densely populated areas and will grow from there as the economics will allow. If you live in Waynesville, Lake Junaluska, Clyde, Maggie Valley or Canton and would like to have the community newspaper home delivered, give us a call — 452-0661.

The way we learn about news that matters in our lives is evolving, but rest assured that The Mountaineer will be there as it always has through the past 128 years. The news delivery form may have changed through the years, and may change more in years to come, but one thing will remain constant. There is no media that can consistently be counted on to deliver local news that matters in Haywood County better than The Mountaineer.