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Plenty of room for print and online news sources

Posted on April 16, 2014 by 40 Mile Commentator

In midst of this digital era that has transitioned how many people seek out their information, old and new should be working together to provide the best service for their readers.

Community newspapers need to progress forward with online services, while still providing hard copy editions of their paper. Too often, one sees the benefits of one, but discounts the value of the other.

One Alaskan online newspaper, that started out six years ago running on donations and seed money, has  purchased a daily print newspaper, and not for the reason one would think.

Last week, it was announced that the parent companty of online newspaper, The Alaska Dispatch, owned and published by Alice Rogoff was purchasing the print newspaper, The Anchorage Daily News (in print since 1946) for $34 million

The parent company, Alaska Dispatch Publishing LLC, said it has learned over the last few years that both entities are needed in the community and can (and should) work together.

“This sale not only makes sense from a local ownership perspective, but it also allows McClatchy to focus more resources on accelerating our digital transformation to better serve our communities,” said Kevin McClatchy, chairman of McClatchy Newspapers, which owns the Anchorage Daily News. “

With no plans on laying off staff or selling the print paper, Rogoff sees the benefits of both.

“The Anchorage Daily News and the Alaska Dispatch play vital roles in our great state,” Rogoff said in a statement. “By merging these operations, we can serve as a stronger, even more comprehensive resource for Alaskans for their news and information.”

“We weren’t looking to sell The Daily News, but we saw advantages to local ownership in this case and opportunites for consolidation that would strengthen both news organizations,” said Pat Talamantes, McClathy’s president.

In fact, the reporters in Anchorage will likely get busier and The Anchorage Daily News will continue to be printed seven days a week and both news website will merge into one site within six months.

“This is a chance for us to get even more reporters on the ground and do more journalism,” said Tony Hopfinger, co-founder, executive editor, and president of Alaska Dispatch.

Following the announcement, Rogoff told her Daily News staffers, “When we at the Alaska Dispatch say we’ve come to realize the value of a newspaper in print, you better believe we’ve come to realize it. We did not start out that way. But, as we got to know this marketplace and community better, it is obvious that print plays an enormous role in a lot of people’s lives.”

In a time where print newspapers progress their online presence and compete with other sites that are solely online entities, it is refreshing to see a logical alternative where the two can come together to provide accurate, professional journalism for their readers, whether it’s online, in print, or both.

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