While much has been made about The Athens NEWS moving to publishing once a week, I feel several important points have not been made about this move.
With that in mind, I put together this list of benefits The NEWS will enjoy after moving to once a week on Thursday, May 30. Some have been in the paper already, while a few have not been discussed nearly enough yet.
• No more debate over if the paper is biweekly or not. Over the years, I have taken part in this discussion several times. Does biweekly mean twice a week or does it mean every other week? If you look up biweekly in Merriam-Webster, it gives both definitions (every two weeks and twice a week). I’m not sure why there is not one set meaning for biweekly, but thankfully we don’t have to debate this for The Athens NEWSanymore. It’s weekly! The debate is finally over (even though Editor Terry Smith always insisted the paper was “twice-weekly,” not “biweekly”).
• It’s no longer the alternative alternative newspaper.Most alternative newspapers come out once a week, so The NEWS was always a little different. Now it can be more like the other alternative newspapers out there and print one outstanding issue each week.
• More reason to check out the online content. You know, some very fine features don’t even make it into the paper version of The Athens NEWS. This is a great opportunity for readers to check out the online items throughout the week. For example, this column…
• Fewer paper cuts.I hate them. Anything we can do to rid the world of paper cuts is a good thing.
• New items will still be added to the website throughout the week. Years ago, reporters had to wait for the paper to come out on Mondays or Thursdays before publishing big new stories. Now, you will still get the content in the print edition, but you can also get it early online.
• Fewer times per week that Editor Smith has to yell “Stop the presses!” He is constantly doing that, and this will be a nice break to only have to yell that once a week.
• The Cleveland Browns can now go to the playoffs again. In the twice-weekly life of The Athens NEWS, most of the newsroom had to work on Sundays. Editor Smith worked nearly every Sunday during the time when NFL football and other Sunday afternoon sports were shown on television. Of course, his beloved Browns missed the playoffs in the vast majority of those years, so it was OK to work a lot. Now that Smith will have Sundays off, it’s time for the Cleveland Browns to finally have a big year.
• It’s better for The NEWS financially. The newspaper world has changed tremendously in the last few decades, and if this helps the paper adapt to the changes, I’m all for it. You can still read the same great content in the once-weekly issue or online, and the staff will still be out covering local issues. I’m looking forward to seeing how all of this plays out for the paper and to seeing if I can now start a debate over whether the paper is tetra-monthly or not.