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Dimon Kendrick-Holmes: Moving our printing operation was a sign of the times – and a good one
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Dimon Kendrick-Holmes: Moving our printing operation was a sign of the times – and a good one

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Maybe you heard that we’re now printing the Opelika-Auburn News in Montgomery. Yes, it’s a sign of the times, and I’m going to tell you why it’s a good sign. I’m even going to offer you something.

But first, I’ll tell you what I’ll miss. In the past 20 years, I’ve worked for three newspapers with an on-site printing plant, and whenever the massive press would start rolling, regardless of the time of day, I would usually have a full cup of coffee on my desk and the vibrations through the building would cause the java to shake and bubble – just like in Jurassic Park when the dinosaurs were on the way.

On Sunday, April 4, the Opelika-Auburn News printed its last newspaper at its plant off Society Hill Road. From now on, the paper will be printed in Montgomery.

There’s just something about the printing press and coffee. I wish I had a dollar for every time somebody told me, “I just like the feel of a newspaper in my hand while I’m drinking my coffee.”

If that’s you, you’re in luck because we’re still printing the newspaper and delivering it to your house just like we did last week. Giving you a printed newspaper is one thing we do, but it’s no longer the main thing we do, and it’s certainly not the quickest, latest or most affordable option we offer for getting the news.

Today, we’re in the information business, not the printing business.

Think about it. Forty or 50 years ago, people woke up, picked their newspaper up off their front porch and went inside to – yes! – drink a cup of coffee and find out whether the Braves won, a storm was coming or anything important or just plain crazy had happened over the last 24 hours in their hometown or around the world.

Of course, that was before the internet.

Today, when we cover local breaking news or discover some important information or shoot a video or wrap up an investigation, we post it right away on our website, but that’s not where most people see it. They see it through social media or Google searches or email newsletters and alerts, and without having to remember to go check our website. We’re bringing the news to you, wherever you are.

And we can reach more people than we ever could through the print paper. For example, a few months ago, when Auburn was looking for a new football coach and then an offensive and defensive coordinator, we posted online photo galleries of potential candidates that got 2.2 million page views.

You just need the power to access it. Sure, it’s no fun when you try to read one of our stories on Facebook and you hit a paywall, but there’s a simple way around that: go ahead and get a digital subscription, and then enjoy all the content you want.

It costs money to bring you local news. The more subscriptions we get, the more people we can hire and the more news we can cover.

If you already have a print subscription, you also have a digital subscription, and you can activate it now by going to our website. If you have trouble, drop me a line and I’ll walk you through it.

If you don’t have a print or digital subscription, have I got a deal for you: a full year of the O-A News online, including a daily electronic edition of the print newspaper, for $29.99. This expires soon so go sign up at oanow.com/members/join/

Thanks for reading!

Dimon Kendrick-Holmes is editor of the Opelika-Auburn News. Email him at dkendrick-holmes@oanow.com

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