Delivery methods expand
Let me explain.
When breaking news happens, we post a story on our Web site. Those who have signed up for News Alerts will get an e-mail telling them a new story has been posted on the Web site. That automatically feeds to our Facebook page and to Twitter.
It’s all free.
While the print edition of the South Jetty (which is duplicated in our online editions – and yes, you have to pay for it – I’ll address that later) will provide in-depth coverage of Port Aransas news you won’t find anywhere else, during an emergency our News Alerts will provide immediate information – for free.
During Hurricane Ike in 2008, our Web site was not yet connected to Facebook or Twitter, but it was the only source of immediate news about Port Aransas. In situations like that, breaking news is free – you do not have to subscribe to the online edition to get that kind of information. We had dozens of property owners from around the country depending on our Web site to find out how that hurricane was impacting Port Aransas.
Now, if a storm impacts Port Aransas, people can find out Port Aransas-specific information through our Web site, Facebook page or by following us on Twitter.
We allow free access to breaking news on the Web site as a public safety issue and to provide an immediate news source for dated stories between the weekly print and online editions of the newspaper.
Our online edition and social media also allow us to make corrections immediately. This week was an example when we made a major error in reporting the incorrect date that red snapper fishing was to close. We posted a correction on our Web site the minute we discovered it, and, of course, that sent it to Facebook and Twitter. We don’t look forward to those opportunities, of course, but we’re sure glad we can do something about an error in a timely manner when it happens.
Our online and print editions of the newspaper are not free because we pay staff to cover meetings and events, write stories, take and process photos and lay out pages of the newspaper. We also pay the post office to mail the South Jetty to subscribers, and we pay a fee to a company to handle our Web site. Many other people are required to produce the newspaper, from ad sales, ad production, circulation, distribution and bookkeeping. None of them has agreed to work for free, so it is incumbent upon us to find ways to come up with a way to fund their paychecks. Advertising and subscription sales are the most reliable means we have found.
With the support of advertisers and subscribers we can continue to produce our print and online editions with news about Port Aransas you will not find anywhere else, as well as provide critical breaking news via our Web site, Facebook and Twitter to viewers at no cost.
Mary Henkel Judson is editor and copublisher of the South Jetty. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, (361) 749-5131 or P.O. Box 1117, Port Aransas, TX 78373.