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The Lake Placid News is a local product with value

April 7, 2016
Editorial , Lake Placid News

Here is a quick and easy multiple choice quiz for Lake Placid News readers, featuring products from the Olympic Region.

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Which is these products is NOT free?

Article Photos

A. One quart of Rivermede Farm maple syrup

B. One six pack of Lake Placid Pub & Brewery Ubu Ale

C. One box of assorted chocolates from Adirondack Chocolates

D. One pound of Dutch Knuckle cheese from the Sugar House Creamery

E. One print edition of the Lake Placid News

F. All of the above

(The answer is F: All of the above.)

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If grocery stores gave away their food for free, they'd be out of business before they could say, "We're out of business." It's the same with businesses that sell published products such as newspapers, magazines, books and music.

It may surprise some of our younger readers to learn that the Lake Placid News is a business. We've been a business since 1905, and we plan on being a business for many years to come.

Yet, if we continue to give away our print newspaper's content for free at www.lakeplacidnews.com, we will eventually put ourselves out of business. We don't want that to happen. We are proud to be Lake Placid's hometown newspaper.

Based on conversations with our subscribers - past and present - we've decided that we can no longer afford to give away our content for free online. Starting with the April 15 issue, most of the content will only be available in our print edition, which is sold in local stores or by mail subscription.

In the grocery store, it's possible to get free samples of food. Managers hope that you like what you taste and then buy the product. That's the model the Lake Placid News will be adopting. We will post a sample of each story online in the hope that you like what you read and then buy the print edition.

That said, we realize people will need a reason to visit the Lake Placid News website. They won't just visit for samples, so we're currently deciding which content to keep in full and which content to sample. For example, we will continue to post the full versions of our editorials.

Many magazines publish full versions of one or a handful of stories on their websites and then list the content of each issue, prompting online readers to subscribe. We'll be following their lead.

More and more newspapers - including our sister newspaper, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise - are adopting paid websites whereby subscribers can access the print editions' content online. The Enterprise calls it All Access, and subscribers can read the content in a variety of formats, including smartphone, computer and iPad.

At the Lake Placid News, we don't have the option of a paid subscription service on our website. Therefore, people must buy the print edition in order to get all the content we publish. Yes, just like in the old days, before the Internet.

We haven't made this decision lightly, especially since we are seeing more readers enjoy the Lake Placid News stories. Based on our Google Analytics reports, we are pleased to see an increase in readership over the last couple of years. Unfortunately, those readers don't always translate into paid customers. We've found that an increasing amount of people are not renewing their print subscriptions because, as they say, "Why pay for a subscription when I can read the newspaper online for free?"

Indeed. Free is always better, but it doesn't pay the bills. And if we can't pay the bills, there won't be any more content. There won't be any more Lake Placid News.

Publishers of all kinds - newspapers, magazines, books and music - have seen their businesses turned upside down in the Digital Age. Business models have continued to evolve, especially in the newspaper business, since the mid-1990s. The main reason? Our society has been conditioned to expect content for free online. Why? Because, for a generation, we've been giving it away for free. Newspapers have helped create the problem, but now it's time that we helped fix it.

First we need to re-educate readers that content has value. Stories and photos don't just appear out of thin air. It takes time and money to publish the Lake Placid News every week.

Trained and talented journalists find the stories and report on them, take the photographs and put news into perspective. We keep you informed, and we try to keep our government leaders honest. As the hometown newspaper, we make sure you have a voice, and we continue to give local businesses an effective advertising medium so they can grow. The newspaper is a valuable resource for residents and visitors.

Some of our younger readers may not remember it, but a short while ago you couldn't read newspaper articles for free online. Before the Internet, you had to buy the paper first, or get it from someone else who had bought it.

Those days are coming back. A little more than a decade ago, the Lake Placid News joined the wave of newspapers posting their content on websites for anyone to read at no charge. It was a big risk to give away a valuable product, but the risk didn't pay off, and newspapers across the nation have started charging readers in various ways.

Adirondack Publishing, which operates the Lake Placid News and the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, plans on continuing our high standards of journalism and quality products. The company has a combined nine-person news staff just for the Tri-Lakes area in the northern Adirondacks - no other medium has more than a single reporter here - plus a couple dozen other employees to produce, print and distribute the papers, sell ads and manage the books. Those people need to get paid; they have families to support. That means we can no longer offer the fruits of their labor for nothing.

Like any other local business, we need your support. Ask yourself, "Is knowing about local news worth paying for?" We believe it is. Choose to be in the loop. Choose to know. Subscribe today.

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Telling your story

The Lake Placid News - your hometown newspaper since 1905 - celebrates the people who make the Olympic Region one of the best places to live and visit on Earth.

Here's what you get for $1.25 an issue.

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Features

Don't miss our in-depth profiles every week.

Up Close: Face time with your neighbors

People at Work: Making a living in the Adirondacks

Eye on Education: A closer look at our schools

Your Neighborhood: Building blocks of our community

Giving Back: People who are paying it forward

Small World: The global influence in Lake Placid

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Columns

Events: On the Scene with Naj Wikoff

Humor: Martha Sez by Martha Allen

Outdoors: Adirondack Gadabout with Joe Hackett, and features by Justin Levine

Education: Blue Bomber Voices from the Lake Placid Central School District

Food: North Country Kitchen by Yvona Fast

Gardening: Lake Placid Garden Club News

Environment: Looking at the Mirror by the Mirror Lake Watershed Association

Community: Lake Placid Rotary Club News

Community: Lake Placid Library News

Plus we have news, sports, opinion, events, arts, local and Olympic history, business, education and more.

Inside, our sales flyers have enough savings that will more than pay for a subscription.

Subscribe today by calling 518-891-2600.

 
 

 

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