The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s gradual phasing out mailing of its print edition and switching to digital versions has reached southwest Arkansas.
“We’re taking this one step at a time,” said Lynn Hamilton, the paper’s general manager, who added that the phase out of print editions has already been completed in 32 Arkansas counties.
Home delivery in this area of southwest Arkansas is set to end March 10, according to letters received by local subscribers. The newspaper is currently scheduling meeting at the Nashville Chamber of Commerce this week to meet with subscribers about the change.
The paper is currently offering subscribers Apple iPads to view the digital versions of the paper and will also teach subscribers – particularly the older ones – how to use the iPads. Eventually, the state’s largest newspaper will no longer be available in a print edition or be distributed to newspaper racks around towns.
The digital versions of the paper will allow readers to zoom in and out on articles, pictures and advertisements on the iPads and can be received and viewed anywhere. Valid subscriptions allow the digital versions to be viewed on multiple devices. The digital versions also have speech capabilities to allow the device to read the paper aloud.
The iPads will also allow readers to work the puzzles inside each edition, Hamilton said.
Hamilton added that, for now, subscribers who decide to continue to get the newspaper in digital form will still receive home delivery of the Sunday paper.
The switch to digital is due to declining revenue, which has affected newspapers of all sizes all over the country. Doing away with home delivery to the state’s outlying areas furtherest from the paper’s printing plant in Little Rock will help the company save on related costs such as transportation.
Daily subscribers to the newspaper may call (501) 378-3847 to request an iPad. Hamilton said the newspaper’s staff will help subscribers set up their device and could even make a house call to help readers with the transition.