Sometimes lost in the hubbub of today’s internet is just how you get your information. We take it for granted that everything is “free” and we should have access to it. The problem is, the people finding, aggregating and checking the validity of this information are working just like any other profession.
A respectable news site – not a blog that occasionally updates with someone’s slanted view – is the culmination of hard work from a trained group of journalists. While anyone can open a website, these sites can have a wealth of untrue stories, outright lies and misinformation with little accountability.
The Independent is the oldest newspaper in Stevens County, serving Chewelah and the surrounding areas since 1903. The newspaper industry is currently going through a transitional phase as more and more people put down the paper and pick up a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
People want quality journalism for free. However, when you think about it, what other industry would you expect someone’s product and services for free?
Information is everywhere and it’s easier to consume than ever. The problem is the cost to get this information and convey it into a news article hasn’t gotten any cheaper.
Newspapers have made the change by providing websites for people to keep up with the community they live in. Through the years, newspapers have tried different models to monetize these websites, as like any other service you run into, the people getting the news also have to make a living.
The Independent has recently launched a new website thanks to the hard work of LaVigne Design Group. Our website is much easier to navigate and can feature a multitude of stories that our old website could not. On top of that, the updates and stories on the website will be updated as much as possible to keep you in touch with the Chewelah community.
Another addition to the website is a paywall. Readers for some stories will have to be a subscriber or buy a subscription. This is a common model by many other newspapers and we’re implementing it because – simply enough – it costs money to produce the news.
The Independent is extremely lucky to have a large subscriber base. Chewelah has been extremely generous in subscribing to the paper as we have 5,060 readers a week while serving our base community of 2,600 people. We’re very grateful for the support that we’ve received from Chewelah and Stevens County throughout the years.
Our paywall isn’t for everything on the website. We’ll still have a select number of important news stories and features open to everyone. We’re also not going to put sports stories behind the paywall because we don’t feel we should charge high school students to read about how they did. You will still be able to get your news from our website, but if you want the full experience of picking up an Independent, we’re just asking you subscribe as well.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you are already a subscriber. Thank you! If you go to our website you can register as a user and get full access to the site at no additional cost. If you aren’t a subscriber, please sign up for one as it’s only $23 dollars a year if you live in the county.
We feel our coverage and our work is worth the few dollars a month as we strive to bring you the best coverage we can of your local town. Our website is where it’s always been at www.chewelahindependent.com and will continue to be tweaked and changed to bring you the best window into our community.
By The Independent Staff