I understand your frustration about the increase in the subscription price of the paper, however, there are a few issues here that are factually incorrect and need to be clarified.
The online digital edition of the newspaper is a digital duplication of our print product— plus it has translation software, readers for the visually impaired, large-print editons, etc. That carries a subscription price because we cannot afford to give away our product for free. However, it costs significantly less than the print edition to reflect the absence of costs of newsprint and printing.
It is not the same thing as the Daily Home Web site, which contains top stories, editorials, obituaries and interactive content and multimedia videos and slide shows. That site and all of its content are free and will remain so.
While we don’t have as much overhead with online products, nothing in this world is free — even the Internet. Most of the major media sites you mention — non of which are paying people to cover local meetings and other news in Talladega and St. Clair counties — are supported by advertising or their broadcast business models. To make money from Google ads, for instance, you need hundreds of thousand of hits a day. The entire population of Talladega County is under 90,000. We have to pay staff to do the reporting, post the copy and manage the site. We also have to pay for Web hosting — a newspaper site generates a lot more traffic than a personal site — and services like the digital edition also cost money.
You are also wrong about how we publish content online — it is not just rerouted from the printer and automatically put online. It has to be reformated and entered, each story, into our online content management system (that software and service also cost money). The digital edition has to be converted, one page at a time, into a format that the digital reader can understand. All of which takes work — some of it quite a lot.
We provide our videos and slideshows free to the public, and they take hours to record, edit and produce. We have been online since 1998, and the digital edition is the latest online product we offer. We have done all of this without adding staff to cut down on expenses so we can provide as much online content as possible for free.
If anyone is having problems accessing any of our online content, the free Daily Home Web site, www.dailyhome.com, or the paid digital edition, please contact me at the office.
Graham Hadley, managing editor, The Daily Home, 256-299-2110, firstname.lastname@example.org