You, dear readers, matter. Advertisers, those local businesses that ask for your support and provide local jobs to local people, matter. And stories, those written about the place you live, work and play, matter.
It was with this in mind that we created Worcester Sun more than two years ago as a subscription website, and it is with this in mind that we bring you today’s inaugural print edition.
“Why?” is the question we heard most often when we announced our plans to publish a physical newspaper. It’s a legitimate question in an industry that for the past 20 years has responded to almost every outside challenge by creating two more for itself in the form of staff cuts, price increases, reductions in local coverage, delivery problems, and so on.
We’ve known since creating Worcester Sun that readers, advertisers and stories matter more than how we present them to you.
Online is easy, cheap and effective, but it has drawbacks. In a medium of so many voices, it’s harder to be heard. And the connection between readers and advertisers is almost nonexistent because ads are so ubiquitous and obnoxious.
Print, meanwhile, has well-documented challenges, but it’s far from dead. It persists because it’s still the most trusted medium for journalism, and also the most memorable and persuasive medium for advertising. And print, we have always felt, goes hand-in-hand with place. Today you’re holding this paper to read or save for later, and probably so is a neighbor.
In short, as we build a business that supports strong, original, local journalism, it feels natural for us to expand into print. It also feels exciting.
The Sun understands that in an age in which people who like news are bombarded with it through their electronic devices, telling them things they already know is a waste of everyone’s time.
We understand, too, that advertisers have an unlimited number of ways to reach an audience, so we need to create experiences that work at prices comparable to those of other media.
For the Sun to succeed, we need to offer you stories you won’t see elsewhere, told by people who represent the Worcester-area community; and to run advertising that’s effective and affordable.
We’re proud to be part of the Worcester renaissance. We’re proud to be investing in the city. And we’ve always believed that if we invested in Worcester, Worcester would invest in us.
As we wrote in October, “We asked for your support, and you gave it. … A majority of our subscribers in those first months signed up for long-term options and continue to follow us. That wasn’t a blip. It was a heartbeat.”
We’re asking for your help again. We’re asking not only for you to subscribe to and read our newspaper, we’re asking that you tell us what you want Worcester Sun to be.
The mix of features in traditional newspapers took more than a century to get right and it lasted a long time. But it does not reflect how we live our lives today.
Tell us what’s important to you. It has to be local, of course, but is it neighborhood news, crime, politics, business, sports, commentary, obituaries, comics? Let us know.
We’ll continue to strive to be a publication that tells stories you want to hear and those you should hear. After all, Worcester Sun is for you and about you! For us to succeed, we need you.
Please see the form on page B8 or go to worcester.ma/print-launch-survey and let us know what you think. In exchange for your feedback, if you live in our delivery area we’ll give you four free weeks of Worcester Sun.