New ways to get you the news, now
I’m in my office waiting for a text to my cell phone.
As I write this column, Baker High School’s baseball team is playing Henley near Klamath Falls for a berth in the state championship game. Kial Richardson, sister to Baker player Trace Richardson, is texting game updates to a whole bevy of Bulldog faithful, including me. I’m updating the score to the breaking news section of our Web site, www.bakercityherald.com, as soon as I get them.In the newsroom, sports editor Gerry Steele is getting cell phone calls from coach Dan Blankenship’s wife, Sheryl, as the game progresses, and he’s updating the game story and posting it to our Web site’s front page.
Those who follow the Baker City Herald on Twitter are receiving headline updates to their mobile phones as we post them to the Web.
As we deliver news in real time through the Internet, the print edition of Wednesday’s Baker City Herald is being delivered through the back door for our carriers to distribute to our subscribers this afternoon.
It strikes me that the shift in the way the newspaper business has changed worldwide is manifested in the activities going on at this very moment at the Baker City Herald.
As of Monday, June 1, we changed our print publication schedule from five days a week to three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Each of those three issues this week is beefier than the issues we printed on a five-day schedule. Each has two sections, more pages, and more local news than we were publishing in five editions, but represents a savings in newsprint and distribution, both significant costs for our business.
The change in our publishing schedule, however, has not diminished our role as a daily news organization. In fact, as the events of this morning have proven, we are delivering news more quickly than we ever have before. We no longer wait for the presses to roll to publish news, since we are able to deliver it electronically to our Web site, www.bakercityherald.com, as it happens.
In addition, as of this week, Twitter has been added to the Baker City Herald Web site, so followers can now receive e-mail or mobile phone updates as soon as we post them. In other words, if you want to know how the Bulldogs are faring in the 4A state championship baseball game this Saturday in Keizer, you won’t need your computer. If you’re following us on Twitter, you’ll get headlines delivered to your cell phone as soon as we post them to our Web site.
I have to thank Kial and Sheryl for their help in getting us real time sports news Wednesday. Gerry, along with photographer Kathy Orr, will be in Keizer Saturday to bring you the championship baseball game, both in real time on our Web site, and with the full story and pictures in Monday’s print edition of the Baker City Herald.
It’s both challenging and exciting to be a part of the information business in this economic and technological environment. And it’s not an exact science. We’re making improvements as we go along, and as new information technology develops based on what best serves our readers and our community.