Over the course of the past two years, we’ve seen some changes here at The Sentinel.
Those changes were subtle at first and began with re-organizing our inside pages to make finding information easier by establishing consistent pages for “Records,” “Community News,” contributed features, etc.
Then, this past April, we changed the look of our front page and introduced a sidebar to the left of the page to provide readers with a quick glance of the highlights in each edition.
Along the way, we also updated our text fonts to a cleaner, less stylized version that is easier on the eyes.
It also gave us more creative control over the look of feature photos and layouts to make them more dynamic.
All of these changes were made with a single purpose in mind: To improve what we do as your community newspaper.
This has also included having a stronger and more consistent presence online and through our social media pages as a way to get you the most current information as quickly as possible.
The response has been tremendous, and we are both encouraged and appreciative of the positive comments, constructive feedback and hundreds of “likes” we get each week.
Activity on The Sentinel’s Facebook page has increased from less than a few thousand a week to nearly 3,000 visitors each day.
Things like that let us know we’re on the right track.
Beginning Dec. 5, we’ll be making another change that will help us provide you with more timely news and information in print as well.
One of our biggest challenges in clearing that hurdle has been our print deadlines, which have meant getting our pages to the press by 5 p.m. on Mondays.
Because of this, anything that happens Monday or Tuesday evenings — city council and school board meetings, for example — are too late to make Wednesday’s print edition.
As a result, the paper that comes out Wednesday is already nearly two days old — and whatever happened Monday or Tuesday has to wait almost nine days to see print.
That will all change Dec. 5, when The Sentinel will move its publication day to Thursdays.
That one-day shift will allow us to move our print schedule to Wednesdays, meaning those council and board meetings that happen Mondays and Tuesdays?
You’ll be reading about them that same week on Thursdays.
They say most of us don’t like change.
But in this instance, it’s the kind of change I know our readers will benefit from as we continue our pursuit to improve what we do as your community newspaper.