Editor, Char-Koosta News
PABLO — When I first started working at Char-Koosta News, I had a crumby little cellphone where the buttons had to be pressed three times to get the correct letter. In the next few years, smartphones would appear that allow the internet to travel with you, 3G to 4G to 5G would let you watch HD video in real time, and social media would connect us in ways that are amazing and sometimes horrifying.
And yet, Char-Koosta News, like a lot of newspapers in the area, continues to churn out a paper product week after week. For many readers, there is a comfort to having a physical newspaper they can pick up and read, sop up a mess, or start a fire. Most importantly, though, is the connection one feels with the community at large, and local newspapers are great at highlighting an individual’s accomplishments and illustrates the difference one person – or a group of people you may know - can make.
However, the hands of time are continuing to move - steadily and stolidly - around that clock face, ticking away the seconds, hours, days, weeks, months and years, and each measure of time comes a new challenge and opportunity. With each passing year, the technology advances exponentially, and our sources of information get wider and more diverse. It’s instant, available with a few flicks with the thumb and ready to be absorbed into the synaptic relays of the frontal lobes lodged in our noggin.
Charkoosta.com is updated once a week to coincide with the release of our print edition, where we then alert the World Wide Web by updating our social media outlet. Despite the speed-of-light nature of our digital presence, our faithful readers must still wait a week for news to reach their eyes.
This presents a problem. If an important story occurs, Char-Koosta News’ reporters attend it and write a story, and when we put it to print, the event will have already aged several days – sometimes weeks – before it’s read. We may not be as fast as the speed of light, but certainly we can be faster than 3rd-class mail.
It’s time we get with the times, and time keeps on slipping into the future.
Starting January 13, Char-Koosta News is going to endeavor to bring you news on a near daily basis through Charkoosta.com. Last year we upgraded our website to a more robust system and it allows us to update it from just about anywhere.
Like Jurassic Park, I expect there to be some hiccups and delays and someone might get eaten by a wayward dinosaur. As we get a rhythm, we will update our website regularly through week; our Facebook followers will be notified immediately when this happens, and the casual user can check in at their leisure on their laptop, tablet, smartphone or desktop computer.
So, does this mean we’re getting rid of the print edition?
Char-Koosta News print edition isn’t going anywhere. Our daily articles will be compiled into the print edition and sent to our analog readers on Thursdays as usual. Our deadlines will remain the same. Our mission statement will be unchanged. Char-Koosta News will still be available at newsstands.
Many readers enjoy getting local news from our humble paper version, and many of our elders prefer to read it as they always have. We have tribal members who look forward to our newspaper who don’t have access to the internet but do have access to mail. And some readers may be content with a cellphone that’s not too smart, takes 20 clicks just to say ‘hello’ and can’t access our newspaper through the ether.
They may not need to get with the times, but CKN does. We’ve been in publication for 50 years, and we look forward to another 50. And who knows? Maybe in 50 years we’ll be beaming the articles directly into your cerebral cortex through a neural data parsing interface with immersive sensory projections that place the subscriber directly into the experience.
And somewhere, someone will probably still be reading the printed paper.