“Today, I wouldn’t say that we’re quite flipped around,” says Montgomery. “I would say that’s where we’re heading, to where we put the news online first, along with other digital media then publish the newspaper.”
Anstaett says that websites have allowed weekly newspapers to provide information to the community on a daily basis. He says reporters are now expected to take pictures, tweet, put information on Facebook and post it to the paper’s website.
Montgomery agrees and says that everyone in the newsroom is expected to help deliver the news in today’s near 24/7 information environment.
“Over here we still have a department that says ‘online’ and we still have some people dedicated to it,” says Montgomery. “But now everybody, reporters, editors, they should be capable of doing everything.”
Hutchnews.com is leading the way among Kansas newspapers with an app and several social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Like many newspapers across the country, they have become a subscription-based online newspaper. Montgomery says that after initial criticism, viewers now understand that it takes money to run a newsroom.
“I think people are comfortable with it now,” says Montgomery. “They understand it and it doesn’t seem that strange to them.”
The Kansas Press Association has a technology consultant to help members develop their websites and mobile apps. Anstaett says people are still looking to their local papers to cover the big stories, no matter how they deliver the news.
“This is the way society’s going. I’m not at all threatened,” says Anstaett. “At some point here the generation will move on and age and at some point the iPad type of instrument is going to be the newspaper.”Kansas newspapers go digital