The Shelby Star, with a circulation of about 15,000 and a staff of 19, is experimenting with some of the most innovative digital technologies in the industry. Use of blogs, moblogs, video and an integrated newsroom are among the innovations being rolled out.
So far, the changes made — the overhaul of the way the paper gathers, produces and publishes news – have generated an 84 percent increase in Web readers.
In addition, the Star is working on something called the Star Car – a WiFi-enabled mobile Internet reporting vehicle. The installation of this is scheduled for next month, with the launch coming in July.
Sez the publisher:
The second thing we're doing is really focusing on driving traffic on a day-to-day basis. We're learning to be strategic about not only what news we break, but how we break it.
We've tried to learn from TV news on this. They do a lot of teasing and 'holding back' on news and content to lure viewers into their newscasts. We're doing the same thing — dribbling out information, sometimes slower than at the pace we actually collect that information, to encourage users to revisit the site for updates. ...
All of this is contingent on monetising these increases in overall consumption of our products. How and when will that happen, I don't know, but I'm very confident it will happen and we'll continue to be strong news organisations that simply focus on multiple mediums.