The reason for this is the same as for newspapers of all sizes worldwide the Internet changed the newspaper game forever. We think thats for the better.
Almost a year ago, we had some decisions to make regarding the Messengers future. We looked at our options and bit the bullet: we would maintain the print edition for as long as our readers and advertisers found value in it (forever, we hope) and make the investment to expand our web presence with a dynamic, interactive design.
Our vision is that the Messenger will no longer merely survive but thrive enough to maintain our print edition and provide a living wage to those of us dedicated to sustaining it as an essential part of Topangas raison detre.
Editorially, the website will help us expand our coverage and provide a plethora of new possibilities: the ability to publish breaking news; publish a full range of news stories, commentaries, analysis, features and photos, limited only by our readers attention span.
Things we couldnt do because of space and technology limitations will also open up to us, such as video, photo galleries and the editors dream of publishing (online) a Topanga Anthology to chronicle the enormous talent that lives among these hills.
What has kept the Messenger going for almost 35 years is the loyalty of our advertisers, who we hope will see this as a great opportunity to take advantage of our discounted launch rates to send their messages far beyond the borders of Topanga.
For the rest of 2011, access to viewing the complete newspaper online will be free.
Our faithful subscribers will continue to receive the print edition for the duration of their subscription while being able to assess the online version.
As of January 1, 2012, online subscription rates will go into effect for those who want to read the complete paper only online. Those who subscribe to the print edition may access the web edition for a few dollars more a year. Much of that is yet to be determined by the success of the website.
But then, weve always known that the Messengers existence has always depended first and foremost on the Topanga community.
As we grow, so does everyone who journeys with us in this grand adventure.