Ladies and gentlemen, I am ever so proud to welcome you to this, the digital arm of our beloved newspaper, the Kensington Chronicle. And let me start by assuaging the fears that more than a few of you have voiced around town: by no means do we intend for this website to replace the print edition of the Chronicle. Our daily paper is steeped in tradition, and it’s a tradition we fully intend to uphold. Our printing press has been churning out papers for more than 150 years, and we have no intention of stopping it now!
Furthermore, our mission statement, to provide the people of Neverland with authentically local news, has not changed, either. While we’ll still cover national and international news that is relevant to our micropolitan community, our goal every day remains, first and foremost, to answer the question, “What’s going on in our community right now?” Much has been written about the failure of AOL’s local journalism experiment, Patch, but we firmly believe that it does not presage the demise of hyperlocal, hometown newspapers like the Kensington Chronicle. AOL was trying to be a national brand in a local market, and hyperlocal journalism just doesn’t scale that way. We see an opportunity to develop a digital platform that continues our dedication to enterprise journalism, content that unveils, informs and educates the community. I’m fond of saying that the Kensington Chronicle is a paper that’s of the people and for the people. We believe local news reporting is a responsibility and a privilege, and strive to serve Neverland with credibility, integrity and accountability.
In a landscape where legacy news media is being threatened by Internet news aggregators, low margins on Internet ads and our still less-than-stellar national economy, we at the Chronicle believe that we can develop a sustainable online model without having to hide our content behind a paywall, which will supplement our print edition rather than rendering it obsolete. That said, studies show that nearly half of adult Americans get some local news and information on their cell phones or tablet computers, and the information that they’re seeking out is practical and real time. We’re going to tailor our internet content to those needs, and continue to publish the quality, in-depth print edition that most of you enjoy over breakfast each morning.
So thank you for your continued support as we drag the Kensington Chronicle kicking and screaming into the digital age. It’s going to be quite the adventure.