As a rule of thumb, people don’t like change. We know this better than most at a paper as even the slightest disruption to a well-established morning routine can trigger an avalanche of angry letters. So suffers of metathesiophobia be forewarned, changes are coming to the paper.

Some of these changes are more like new features; they won’t modify anything you’re used other than to add to the experience of reading the paper. We’re going to continue to write a weekly editorial as we have for the past month. Topics will vary and as I’m the one who will do most of the writing, the style will remain pretty much as it is now.

Another addition to the paper will be a daily police log. This will be a list of entries culled from the police department’s records. We’re going to chose the entries that we feel are most interesting to readers, due to their frequency, severity or curiosity. It’s not going to be as in-depth as the weekly crime watch but it will provide a snapshot of police activity. Crime Watch will continue just as it always has.

The new logs will start on Wednesday, May 28. The Memorial Day holiday throws off our production schedule for the week and we thought it would make more sense to start the feature Wednesday, and then be able to continue it uninterrupted, rather than start today and then miss a day right away.

As of next week, there will also be a true change to our website. We’re going to start publishing the days’ news on the same day the paper hits, rather than the night before. We realize there are some online readers who eagerly await the weeknight update but we have some evidence that shows same-day publication will be better for us as a company and that the shift actually increases the number of people who will see our online posts.

All the same content will go online and for most readers, you won’t notice a difference. For those that do, we know you’d rather have it the night before, but we also know a lot about reading patterns and habits based on our web traffic. We think more readers will benefit from the same-day publication than will miss the early-edition.

As always, we want to hear reader feedback. Let us know what you think of the logs, if we should editorialize on specific topics, what we can do to keep improving the paper. I can be reached at matt@smdp.com.

- Matthew Hall

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