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Mike KnaakColumn, Opinion, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

Sometimes the news can’t wait. And readers can’t wait until Friday to get it.

That’s why for the past few months we’ve been publishing more news on our website, www.thenewsleaders.com.

Daily updates online include significant local news from Sartell, St. Stephen and St. Joseph that readers need to know right away such as actions by local government, election returns and road closings.

There are other stories that, if held until Friday, won’t be news any more such as community events that get scheduled at the last minute, changes or updates to coming activities.

And there are space limits to print. Our usual editions are either eight, 12 or 16 pages. Sometimes we have more news than we can fit in print. Issue size is somewhat determined by the number of ads and by the number of color advertising and editorial pages needed. Because of the limits of the printing press, we need to add pages in increments of four pages.

Perhaps the “perfect” size edition to accommodate the news and advertising is 14 pages. But we’re limited to 12 pages, which means we don’t have enough room for everything, or 16 pages, which may upset the advertising/news balance and leave us short of stories.

If we’re tight, we’ll sometimes decide to hold a story until the next edition.

Now we’re putting some of the stories online right away and then holding them until the next print edition.

The past few months, we’ve also published more photos online than we’d have room for in print. For example, we’ve published online photo galleries of community events such as Sartell High School graduation and Joetown Rocks.

None of these digital efforts affects the print edition. You’ll still find the feature stories, news about local governments and schools, opinions, police blotters and achievements in print.

The Newsleader print edition will continue to arrive in your mailbox for free. We’re proud of the fact we deliver to every mailing address in the St. Joseph, St. Stephen and Sartell zip codes. That means more than 24,000 people in those communities see each edition. No other local media can match that readership coverage.

All the stories and photos from print will continue to be posted online.

In the coming weeks, we’ll offer additional content online with a digital subscription that costs $5 a month or $50 per year for one town’s content. If you want the content from both St. Joseph and Sartell, then you can purchase the other paper for only $2 more, or $7 a month or $70 a year. (That’s two months free if you go yearly.) The exclusive digital content will include daily updates, photo galleries, a digital replica of the print newspaper that you can download and video.

While we deliver free to every household in St. Joseph, St. Stephen and Sartell, the free online content plus subscription online features may be of interest to readers outside our delivery area. Our online statistics indicate a majority of our digital readers are outside of our print delivery areas so readers interested in seeing a digital replica of the print edition in PDF form may find a subscription useful.

Our digital efforts also include an expanded presence on social media. We invite you to follow us on Twitter @newsleadersmn for alerts on upcoming news or engage with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thenewsleaders.

If you can’t wait until Friday, check out our website every day. Thenewsleaders.com works great on your smartphone as well.

View our website, www.thenewsleaders.com, on your laptop or smartphone.

Author: Mike Knaak

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