The state’s newspaper is going digital only soon, maybe except for Sunday, offering “free” iPads in exchange for three-year digital subscriptions. That’s an interesting decision and it is one that has a lot of readers questioning the fate of the Log Cabin Democrat.

The LCD has no plan to slow down. We are still here, committed to print journalism. But I will be honest, as its publisher, we’re always exploring new ideas. But the hitch is, we’re not doing it without help.

On Monday, we convened the new Reader Advisory Board, made up of nine men and women of all backgrounds and ages. The purpose is to enhance the products we distribute with the idea in mind that readers should determine the path ahead. We have responsibilities for revenue, and there is no denying that. But at this point, and probably long overdue, we have to keep our mission healthy. Our mission is bolstering community engagement and providing a record of history in our growing county.

Having been part of the print business for more than half my life at this point, I can say transparently that times haven’t been easy for newspapers of any size for a couple of decades now. When the internet became a thing, papers panicked, driving a lot of what we do to digital before we even knew or had a strategy for the way it would play out. We couldn’t have known what social media would do to our industry and the demise of the human will to go beyond the surface and study and research and ask questions. We have been tasked now more than ever before with figuring that out, but not on our own.

We’ve downsized, lost valuable editors and reporters, and we’ve made the best of it. The point being, we’re still trying amid a rapidly changing landscape of audiences.

The LCD is doing well. Our dedicated subscribers have been the backbone and the reason we keep thriving. Because of our size and the challenge we face with the size of our newsroom, we are well aware we’ve got some room for improvement. But we have to have support to build it back. We have to have new subscribers and we have to rally with small businesses to help each other because they haven’t been immune to a changing culture of internet shopping, delivery of services and other variables, either.

Believe me, no one at the LCD is getting rich. We’re here because we love what we do and we believe in the necessary functions of print journalism for a robust community. But we cannot do it alone.

We are open to taking community direction and learn how to cover the news that’s important to you and include content you need, all with a hyper-local focus. We also have to figure out if we are delivering to all our readers the right way. We’re asking, “How do you want the news?” We’ll do our best to find solutions to accommodate.

If you want to help, educate yourself on your community. Read the newspaper. I assure you that there will be something to learn every day in the pages of the LCD. Whether it is history or government spending or a feature story on a nonprofit, there will be a lifeline to your neighbors and to your local businesses.

We encourage hearty feedback that is constructive. Write Letters to the Editor. Come visit us! Now’s the time when you really need us the most. Communication and education of, small communities is suffering because a whole generation of people don’t know how to utilize local resources. Thinking and problem solving is secondary to ease and convenience. That’s a fact.

If you believe in the efforts we’re attempting, you have to support it. Plain and simple. Subscription rates for the LCD are less than three cups of gourmet coffee a month. If you don’t want the paper on your doorstep, we can same-day mail it to you. And digital access is free with a print subscription.

I will boldly say the LCD is here for the long haul. It’s upsetting to watch another paper stop its press in any capacity, and we all hope the all-digital effort is successful. The print product is not the problem. It’s the way we deliver news. It’s what news we’re delivering. There’s a solution in all this. And as many of our grandmothers have said, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!”

For subscription information, contact ewolverton@thecabin.net or call 501-327-6621.