From the Publisher – Darel La Prade

darel

Darel La Prade

By Darel La Prade

Publisher of the Milford Chronicle and milfordchronicle.net

“Just because everything is different doesn’t mean everything has changed.”

This wonderful proverb is among my favorites, and nowadays, it’s a saying with broad application to our world.

You could even apply it to the Milford Chronicle. Let me explain.

In the issue of the Chronicle, published last Wednesday, we introduced an updated nameplate, a contemporary front page design, and now, we’ve launched a new website with a better Internet address. You will now find us on the web by pointing your browser at www.milfordchronicle.net.
The changes we made in the newspaper started by our defining small, practical and aesthetic improvements that would strengthen our identity and make the paper overall more appealing to readers.

For example, in the updated nameplate, we added a bold color bar under the name of the paper. This was a practical decision. The color bar helps to frame the front page “canvas,” clearly separating the nameplate from the front page photo and story.

Teasers to inside stories, which have long appeared in the left-hand column of the front page, were elevated to the top of the page, in “sky-boxes,” an old-fashioned approach that is regaining relevance today. The paper’s new web address and UPC bar code now appear at the bottom of the front page

Again, these were practical decisions, which freed up more space for front-page stories and photos and allow for greater variety in presentation of our most important material.

On the inside pages, we will continue to develop more consistent identifiers for regular features and special pages.

Though these changes are aimed at improving your experience while reading the paper, they are, all-in-all, relatively minor in scope.

Changes to our web site, on the other hand, are much more radical and extensive. Besides the new address, the new website is dedicated exclusively to stories and photos from Milford.

Navigation of the new website is much more straightforward, so when you visit www.milfordchronicle.net, it will be easier for you to find and share stories of interest about Milford.

The site remains affiliated with Newszap, our company’s long-time syndicated brand, but www.milfordchronicle.net is now a stand-alone entity, that will focus on very local news and more in-depth coverage of your community.

Besides the obvious facelift, we have also added several interactive features to www.milfordchronicle.net. Among the most important additions is a new option to subscribe to an e-newsletter, which will be delivered every Wednesday morning to your e-mail inbox. A digest of headlines, with links to stories and photos, this newsletter will summarize the news of the week past, while also providing a useful reminder of upcoming events and meetings. You can even sign up for a breaking news edition, which will provide you timely, up-to-date alerts on important local stories as they happen.
Subscribing to the newsletter couldn’t be simpler. It is a two-step process: Visit www.milfordchronicle.net click the newsletter icon in the upper right-hand corner of the page, and enter your e-mail address. That’s it. Takes only a couple of minutes.
Another important improvement to the website is how well it will adapt to your mobile device. The site uses “responsive code,” which automatically senses whether you are visiting from a desktop computer, a notebook, tablet or a smart phone. What you see will be adjusted to fit the screen of the device you are using.
These changes, and others to come, are evidence of our team’s commitment to continuously improving the Chronicle and its website. Our goal is to let our coverage of the community evolve as new technology becomes available and reliable. These changes are aimed at only one goal: To make it easier for you to read and access the local news. We intend to keep this objective squarely in our bead.
With the rapidity of technological change, it is so easy to blink and lose sight of the target. Too often newspaper owners and publishers inadvertently fool themselves into believing the latest software or social media fad are instantly indispensable tools, and without them their newspapers and websites will be rendered out-of-date and meaningless.
This craze is understandable. None of us would deny digital technology has wrought widespread change in our culture, but we often fail to see the Internet, mobile phones, social media and all the rest of the related technological phenomena for what they really are.
These things are, in most cases, just a new means to an old end.
The truth is that local communities are the bedrock of America – where citizens first learn to work together to serve each other, and where businesses first learn to thrive by serving the needs of their customers. Yet local “sense of community” has been weakened in recent years by innumerable factors, including the Internet, digital technology and cookie-cutter media outlets.

The Milford Chronicle and www.milfordchronicle,net mean to buck this trend.

The mission of the Milford Chronicle is to serve, nurture and celebrate our community. The Chronicle is published by Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA (INI), which in turn is owned by a non-profit journalistic trust that shares the commitment to the Chronicle’s mission. We think local communities are of the utmost importance, and that they must be preserved and strengthened.

So “just because everything is different doesn’t mean everything has changed.” Our commitment to Milford hasn’t changed; it is just as steadfast as ever.

Darel La Prade has worked the last 17 years for Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA. He is publisher of the Milford Chronicle and five other weekly newspapers on Delmarva. He can be reached at dlaprade@newszap.com or on Twitter @DarelLaPrade.

The Milford Chronicle is proud to deliver news to the Greater Milford Community. Follow @ChronicleNews37 on Twitter.

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