I encourage you to read publisher Patty Bennett’s column regarding The Daily Independent’s changes first. Reading this first is like opening the batteries before unwrapping the device for which they’re needed on Christmas Day.

She wrote the “what” — and even the “why” and “when.” I’m going to give you the “how” — and some of the “who.”

This COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a swift blow to many businesses — it’s like an elbow to the chest under the basket, hoops fans.

But we’re ready to take a minute to collect ourselves, inhale deeply and press forward.

Speaking of the press … it won’t be as active here at The Daily Independent as it has been for more than a century. As Patty penned, we are moving even further into the digital era by printing our product on five instead of seven days.

Here are two things I want you to understand: 

1) This hurts. 

This is my hometown paper, too. Although I lived out of the area for 13 years of my life, I have always been attached to the Ashland Daily Independent, The Independent and now, The Daily Independent.

I have beamed with pride any time I had the chance to boast about our product — “We are rare,” I’d say. “We are one of the very few papers remaining in the state that prints seven days a week, designs in-house and prints in-house.” Becoming the sports editor, managing editor and, most recently, editor of this paper were special moments in my life. So, yes, seeing our Sunday and Tuesday editions “go away” — there’s a reason I threw quotation marks around that — well, it does sting. However … 

2) … This truly doesn’t change much. 

Speaking from an editorial standpoint, our newsroom, sports staff, photographer, contributing writers and page designers will continue to put forth our best effort in getting fresh, informative, interesting, high-quality and compelling content to you every single day. We don’t view this as any chance to relax or become complacent in our service to the community.  

Although we won’t produce a hard copy of the newspaper on Tuesdays, for instance, we will still assemble an express e-edition that can be viewed on our website. For those not familiar, it appears on your tablet, smartphone or computer screen just as it would as a print newspaper. (Reminder: Those who already have a subscription have total access, which includes this feature.)

Our “Healthy Living” pages will now appear in Wednesday’s paper.

As for those who love to get their hands on our Sunday paper, our goal is to pack our new weekend edition full of content that will satisfy consumers for both Saturday and Sunday. 

Regarding stories that break or events that occur over the weekend, our team still plans to supply coverage — while it won’t be in print until Monday’s edition, we encourage you to follow us on Facebook (The Daily Independent), visit dailyindependent.com, download our app and/or follow us on Twitter (@ashlandkydaily, @zklemmeADI and @sparkswillfly35 are the most active accounts).

Also, we have a “digital team” in place — not additional employees, just some of the same employees wearing additional hats — with goals of bolstering our social media presence and enhancing our online product. We will continue to produce videos, including our weekly shows “What’s Up, Tri-State?” and “Halftime Prep Talk” as well as supplemental videos that accompany our written stories and photographs.

So, in essence, our coverage isn’t affected by this decision to print five instead of seven days a week.

Stay with us. We’re not going anywhere. … These batteries aren’t dead.

Support local journalism. We can’t adequately convey how much it means to us. Thank you. 

Reach AARON SNYDER at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664. Follow @DIndependentQB or @ashlandkydaily on Twitter.

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