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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Left behind

Everytime something new came along -- the telephone, the radio, TV -- there were people left behind for awhile. Now, those of us who produce newspapers are facing it with computers and the Internet:

The Sun, like many newspapers, is shifting more content from its traditional print edition to its Web site. Economic pressures have forced newspapers to reduce their print content, and editors are trying to mitigate that loss by posting this missing material on their Web sites. These moves also appeal to journalists already worried about growing competition from Internet news sources.

But some print edition readers can't or won't use the Internet and are frustrated because certain of their favorite items have been deleted from their newspaper. I've talked to a number of these frustrated subscribers in recent weeks, and it's difficult to know how to respond. Many have told me they either can't afford to buy or don't want to use a computer.

A couple of years ago, we moved the editorial page's weekly poll from the printed product and made it Web only, although we publish the questions and the results in the paper; you just can't answer the quesions except online. Hardly a week goes by that I don't get a few calls from people who feel left out. I always ask them how they would answer the question and make sure their responses are included in the results.

Who today doesn't have a radio or TV or a telephone -- not to mention a cell phone?  Considering how cheap computers and Internet connections are today, this rough patch will soon be left behind.