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Since April 24, 1830, thousands of people in Jacksonville and the surrounding area have turned to the Journal-Courier every day to know what is going on in our community.
It has been our privilege to bring that hometown view to readers. We have applauded the good, shared the agony of the bad, and tried to be the cohesive force for the community through it all.
It is likely people will be turning to the Journal-Courier 190 years from now. If I’m wrong, look me up in April 2210 and dinner will be on me.
Starting today, online readers will start noticing the label “Insider” on some stories at myjournalcourier.com. These articles will be some of our best news, sports and features of the day and will require a subscription to read. Important issues like breaking news and crime and public safety stories will remain free to read.
For those who already have a subscription, the change should be seamless. Print subscribers have free access to all of our online content and need only log in to activate their digital account. If you experience any problems, call our circulation team and they can make sure to activate your online benefits. They can be reached at 217-245-6121 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you aren’t a subscriber, we urge you to try it with a special introductory offer for digital-only access at 95 cents for the first month and $9.95 each month after that.
Our focus on Jacksonville and west-central Illinois remains consistent and will not waver. Our dedication is to the people and places of our town and providing the authoritative news and advertising they cannot get consistently from any other place.
What has evolved is the way we gather and disseminate that information. When I first started in this career, my tools were a manual typewriter and a rotary-dial phone. On busy days, my fingertips would be sore. I prayed I did not have to call a source on deadline with numbers above 5, because I knew it would take forever for that dial to spin back around.
It wasn’t that long ago, either.
There was no internet, no Google and no cellphones. We would have to carry dimes to call the office from a payphone while out on assignment.
The tools we now have available have been highly beneficial for reporters and for readers. They also put demands on journalists that didn’t exist before. News spreads faster and farther these days, but often comes with layers of misinformation that must be peeled away before we feel our readers are getting the best information possible.
It’s a challenge we hold dear — bringing you the community news and information we have and staying intensely focused on our home.
Readers will have noticed in the past months a lot more news being presented throughout the day online at myjournalcourier.com and through social media like Facebook and Twitter. Every day, people go to our online site to view, on average, 30,000 pages; on some days, it has been 50,000 pages or higher. As I am looking right now at real-time numbers of visitors, readers are coming from as far away as Australia, Germany and India.
We’ve also introduced newsletters that present the top stories each morning and the latest news of the day each afternoon — right into your email inbox.
We maintain a vibrant base of customers who will always want a print version of the newspaper, but we also must grow to meet the challenges of an increasingly digital age.
It’s about finding a balance that meets the needs and reading habits of customers while also adapting to the business model needed to cover the significant investment in the community we make through employing dozens of people, from reporters who cover breaking news, sports and schools to the distribution workers and drivers who make sure we get a newspaper out every day.
Your support is crucial to our mission, and we want to make sure you realize how appreciated it is. That’s why we provide subscribers with full access to our e-edition as well as a hand-curated exclusive afternoon newsletter highlighting the day’s news.
As always, your thoughts on these changes are welcome. You can reach out to me at email@example.com.
David C.L. Bauer is editor and publisher of the Journal-Courier.