The Kamsack Times weekly community newspaper is now available on the Internet.
This newspaper, which was established in 1908, is one of the last remaining community newspapers owned by Glacier Media Group with an Internet presence.
Persons with an Internet connection may access the newspaper by going to www.kamsacktimes.com. Access to the site is free of charge.
Although elements of the site are still under construction, readers will find on it last week’s local news and photographs. Each Tuesday afternoon, items from the previous Thursday’s issue are being uploaded onto the site, which, when fully constructed, will have added features such as polls and advertisements.
For the past several months, the newspaper’s staff has been uploading to the Internet stories and photographs that have been printed in the weekly newspaper.
The Times is one of more than 40 weekly, twice-weekly or daily newspapers owned by Glacier Media Group in Western Canada, while in total Glacier is in partnership agreements with more than 80 such newspapers across Canada, Tim Shoults of Vancouver, vice-president of content and audience development for the company, said.
Some of the company’s newspapers have been online since the late 1990s, and most others have gone online since.
Persons being interviewed and photographed for items in this newspaper are now being told that those images and those stories are being posted onto the Internet and consequently are accessible to anyone in the world with a device that can access the Internet.
Why has the Times and all the other community newspapers gone online?
Online readership is a different kind of readership, Shoults explained. The online experience is different from the print experience. Not all the content is the same, and because some people are not comfortable reading on screen, the printed copies are still a valuable version of the newspaper.
Shoults said that many of the company’s newspapers of a similar size to the Times are online and are experiencing both a healthy subscription rate as well as a good-sized digital audience.
“We’ve seen that the on-line version does not have a detrimental effect on subscription rates,” he said, adding that they have discovered that among the people who are most apt to seek out the digital versions of a community newspaper are former residents who want to keep tabs on their hometowns, for it is often too expensive or inconvenient to subscribe to the print version.
“It’s a great way to keep in touch with a community.”
Regarding advertising, Shoults said that while with print one knows how many issues are printed, one does not know for sure if, for example, a person saw the advertisement located at the bottom left hand corner of Page 6, whereas with the digital version one can say with confidence how many people have looked at a particular advertisement, how many times they’ve looked at it and at what time of the day they saw it.
Of all of the company’s papers, only one, a daily in Victoria, B.C., has a “pay wall” which allows full access only to paid subscribers.
For the most of the newspapers the cost and logistics of a “pay wall” are not worth the effort, he said.
As new stories and photographs from the Times are added each week, they will appear at the beginning of the site’s home page and the previous weeks’ content is merely moved down, not withdrawn. Therefore, as more content is added to the site, the site will become larger and larger with more and more stories and photographs. It will be an ever-expanding digital record of the publication.
In addition to the Times, its two sister publications, the Canora Courier and the Preeceville Progress, that are also published from the office of the Canora Courier Ltd. in Canora, have also gone online and similarly may be accessed with the addresses: www.canoracourier.com and www.preecevilleprogress.com.