The Bridge will say farewell to print, gather the community online

After three years of publication as a monthly newspaper (decades more for our predecessors, the Seward Profile and the Southeast Angle), The Bridge has decided to stop publishing a print edition. Next month’s issue will be our last — at least for the time being. But our commitment to keeping you informed will continue as we shift our operation online to our website, readthebridge.info.

This decision was a complicated and often heartbreaking one to make. We take our role in this community very seriously. We’re proud of the 40-year legacy of the parent publications that combined to create The Bridge. We’re proud of the service we provide to our readers and our advertisers.

But the numbers just don’t add up anymore. Even with the redesign and page size changes we made earlier this year, the paper has been running at a deficit throughout 2009, and there are no clear signs on the horizon that this situation will improve any time soon.

So, we made the decision to schedule a date for a final edition, rather than just cease publication abruptly some month, a strategy that would have left advertisers hanging and readers wondering where the paper had gone. We wanted an opportunity to honor the past, celebrate The Bridge newspaper and look toward the future.

And what is the future for The Bridge? Like so many newspapers today, our future is on the internet.

We’ll be moving our news and information services online, and we want you to come with us. While we’ll mourn the loss of the print edition, by shifting all of our resources to our online home, we’ll actually be able to make some valuable changes. Here’s a taste:

Breaking news: in my years with the paper, I can remember only a couple of instances when breaking news coincided with our monthly publication schedule. Online, we’ll be able to keep you informed in a much more timely way.

More news: every month, our editor has to pick and choose from among the myriad of stories on his desk to match the amount of space available in a printed paper. Online, we can provide you with much more news and info than the monthly printed paper ever could.

Greener news: Every year, this paper uses 22 tons of newsprint, not to mention the energy used in the printing and distribution processes. By making the shift to an online news source, we’ll do our part to help this community use resources more wisely and lower its carbon footprint.

The move online is an exciting prospect. But it will only succeed if you come with us. We’re asking readers to visit us online today at readthebridge.info, and to register as a Bridge user. Registered readers can get email newsletters from The Bridge, post comments on stories, and will have access to other goodies we have in the works for the future. And just by registering to show their support, they’ll be directly involved in the success of The Bridge online.

We’ll bring you more details in the June edition. Until then, thanks for your continued and valued readership.

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Become a register user of The Bridge website! Just click on "Create a new account" over in the left-hand column. Registered users can receive our email newsletter, which will begin in June, and can make comments on articles. And stop back often - we'll be making changes to the site throughout the month of May.

last revised: May 8, 2009