Editor's Notebook

Beginning this week, The Daily Courier will publish a print edition on Tuesdays through Saturdays only.

Monday, Monday how could you leave?

Next week marks a significant change in the way The Courier and Herald will deliver the news.

Our ownership has taken bold and significant steps to secure our future by returning to a five-days-a-week publication schedule and other internal changes designed to keep your newspaper successful and profitable.

The move has already been made in other Canadian markets including Prince George, Kingston and Windsor. Unlike online news, the cost of producing a daily is significant. Exclusive online news sources only need one webmaster/tech person.

Looking at markets such as Guelph, Nanaimo, Nelson and Kamloops, all have lost their daily newspapers. Those communities now have a void.

As Joni Mitchell said, “You don’t know what you've got til it’s gone.”

In Penticton’s case, I can’t think of a city as small that has a five-day-a-week newspaper.

Although we won’t be publishing a Monday print copy, our online presence will be enhanced in both markets, especially on weekends, an area that’s been lacking for the past several years. Our plan is to also beef up Tuesday’s print edition so nothing that you’ve enjoyed in the past goes missing.

Our competitors, I’m sure, are predicting the demise of the paid daily in both markets. But, that’s nothing new, critics have been saying that since the mid-1990s when the two papers began sharing a printing press.

But,The Courier/Herald still have by far the best writers. Unlike most of the other news outlets, we pay good, union wages, ones that our employees can support a family on.

The Herald/Courier helps hundreds of local businesses grow and succeed by connecting them with their customers through advertising. We entertain with puzzles and crosswords, inform with our news coverage and create discussion and debate thanks to our many fine columnists.

Print readers are loyal and I truly appreciate each and every customer we have. Anyone close to me knows that I care deeply about both papers.

In places that lost their dailies, people ask after the fact what they could have done to save them.

I suggest:

• Subscribe to a print or online edition, even if you read the newspaper for free at a coffee shop.

• Support the businesses that support real journalism. If you see an advertisement in our paper, don’t be afraid to mention it when you visit a store.

• Talk us up. If you enjoy our newspaper, tell someone else.

• If you own or manage a business, consider print as a viable advertising strategy. Even if your business is so big that you don’t feel the need to advertise, consider a once-a-year advertisement at Christmas to thank your loyal customers. You’ll be pleased with the results.

• Don’t pull your subscription if there’s a cartoon, editorial or news story that you don’t agree with. So many people today have a one-strike-and-your-out philosophy. Our newspapers are successful because we don’t sugar coat things. We won’t pull a story because someone might be offended.

Newspapers have been around since the late 1500s (and the concept dates back to 730 AD). Our formats have changed and we’ve faced our challenges over the years (the advent of television), but we’re not going anywhere, anytime soon.

I’ll see you around.

James Miller is valley editor of the Okanagan Newspaper Group. To contact the writer: james.miller@ok.bc.ca

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