Online issues to offer ‘subscriber-exclusive’ content

Our weekly newspapers have a long history of serving our communities and providing readers with local news unavailable elsewhere.

We are proud of our work and our reported and recorded local histories. And while the way we present the news has evolved, our need for community support remains.

Readers sometimes ask why they should have to pay for news about their communities. That's a fair question, but before I answer, ask yourself: Why aren't groceries free? Why aren't other services such as internet and cable television free?

Like food and other services we use and consume, it costs money to cover and provide you with the news -- with local news that's hard to find reported accurately and consistently anywhere else. We can't do it without your support. Local news doesn't write or photograph itself in the same way as food doesn't grow or package itself.

Local news is vital to knowing how our tax dollars are spent and what new laws and regulations are being considered. Who else would provide an unbiased report on the decisions and actions of local governments, school administrations and others?

Much news and information is shared on social media sites, but how many social media users take the time to attend and report on meetings of municipal governments and school boards, expend the effort to obtain police reports and court records, or do the extra work to verify the accuracy of the news and information they publish and report?

As newsrooms around the country face cuts or closure due, at least in part, to declining subscriptions, your local newspaper remains dedicated to providing in-depth coverage of the local stories that matter to you, our readers.

This is why we're launching "subscriber-exclusive" content with this online issue.

What does that mean? Another website paywall? Essentially, yes.

This will not change anything in our print issues, and our current subscribers' online access to our news, photos and videos won't change. But our readers who have not yet subscribed will now start to find some content on our websites labeled "subscriber exclusive." Those stories and photos will only be available to active subscribers.

Most of our breaking news, crime stories and other reports will still be available to everyone. But stories that paint a more in-depth picture -- the ones that look below the surface and focus on the local implications of news and events -- will only be available to our paying customers.

We invite those considering a subscription to try us out by contacting our customer service department at 1-800-482-1121. Your subscriptions help us continue to support our local communities and their residents for years to come.

We believe we have the talent and the tenacity to make a subscription worthwhile. Our "subscriber-exclusive" content will have details you won't find elsewhere, photos and videos that bring our stories to life, and coverage of the people who help our communities thrive.

We're your hometown paper. We -- our reporters and staff members -- are part of your communities. We care just as much as you do about what's happening in our communities. And we pride ourselves on being leading local news providers. Community journalism is vital to the growth and stability of our communities, and we are proud to be your community journalists.

We thank those of you who subscribe! Your faith in us is what allows us to continue serving you.

Editor's note: Randy Moll is the weeklies editor for the weekly newspapers in the Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC family. He may be contacted by email at [email protected].