Life in the Valley of Riches

by Dan Mancuso,

As most of you know, I have always been anti-web, and at least to me, for obvious reasons. But, believe it or not, the Illinois Valley News now has a digital product.
When papers first went digital, they gave away their product for free only to draw ire when they realized what they had done and put up paywalls.
Now, those who won’t pay for news get headlines that are shared on social media, and that’s it. Can you imagine a world where people don’t actually read a story, but rely on a headline and photo? Well, sadly we do.
I have fought going online, mostly due to the cost. A small weekly newspaper like ours barely keeps its head above water now – without the added costs associated with a website.
But clearer thinking has brought me to the conclusion that if Cave Junction and the Illinois Valley wants to keep its paper, I have to do it.
Our new site, www.theivnews.com came to fruition from conversations I had with Jody Lawrence-Turner, executive director of the Fund for Oregon Rural Journalism. The group was set up to help small community papers like ours. During one of our conversations, I told her it would nice if there was a website, where small papers could use cost averaging to keep the prices down to the point I could afford a web presence. A few weeks later she emailed me with my solution.
The Paywall Project is a company in West Virginia that is ran by journalists for newspapers. The site is quite easy to navigate and I have plenty of leeway to make the paper look the way we want. Not being a web guy, you will need to be patient with me, this will take some time for me to get it the way we want it.
I have spoken to local web designer Jesse Dugas about working with me to keep it current in style.
Subscribers will have the option of paying one annual fee or a small monthly fee. We have advertising spaces that will link the ad to the advertiser’s website or social media page.
While there have been some misconceptions that the print paper is going away, that is not so. I will print the paper as long as readers want it and there is paper to print on.
Thank you for picking up this week’s paper, enjoy! ~ djm