Central PA's LGBT News Source
Press And Journal Publications, parent company of The Central Voice, has just finished one of the most comprehensive transformations in our 163-year history: the redesign of every one of our regional print and digital publications (we have 13!), which subsequently prompted profound soul-searching to meet our many challenges.
Should we channel more resources into our print editions (which provides the lion’s share of revenue) or invest more in the paper’s digital editions? According to so-called digital media prophets the future of journalism is in the world of websites and apps. But how do we keep the doors open when digital investments provide only a fraction of total revenues?
If The Central Voice ceased publishing tomorrow, who has the most to lose? The answer is that there would be a tremendous vacuum; for readers, organizations and public officials who depend on this newspaper to be a credible and comprehensive source of news and information; for our advertisers who depend on this newspaper to connect them with local consumers; and for our vendors and 30-plus employees who rely on our publications for income.
We don’t believe newspapers are on the path to obsolescence but on one that will necessitate delivering news and information in lots of different ways. We don’t accept that citizen journalism will emerge as a substitute for what community newspapers do best: telling accurate, compelling stories with context and consistency.
What lies ahead for us (and all mainstream media organizations) almost certainly includes immense risks — the toughest will be the transition period. We have 100 percent confidence we will survive.
So, how are we meeting the challenges? Press And Journal’s publications are evolving, but we definitely aren’t going away, nor will our need to continually learn, listen and reinvest.
We recognized the persistent points of pain and frustration with our old website, thecentralvoice.ning.com. Navigation tools on TheCentralVoice.com are now user-friendly across multiple platforms — meaning it looks good on your computer, your tablet and your phone.
TheCentralVoice.com content will still be free when you register and users will be rewarded with timelier, expanded coverage. We are now able to make website changes at the true pace of breaking news with additional content and features that give us more opportunities to contribute and interact with our community.
We’ve also hit the ground running with our print product. Nearly everything about the way the newspaper looks has changed.
One of the most obvious changes, as you’ve probably already noted, is our new masthead, our first in many years. Our layout is meant to be easier to read but most importantly, more useful and relevant.
So, what hasn’t changed? The same commitment we’ve always had to provide up to date and accurate community news. This newspaper is one that values journalism and believes in public service.
It will take vision and a willingness to accept risks and some failures, but we plan on being here for a very long time. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Central Voice readers and advertisers. You have given us the support to embrace our past while looking forward to the future. We want you to know how grateful we are that we are still together.
- The Sukles are the owners of Press And Journal Publications