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Andersen establishes new website, retains base paper

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Brian Bahret
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
The Air Force's initiative to move news to the web has left people wondering what exactly will happen to the base newspaper. At many bases, the newspaper is simply going away - a paper copy will no longer exist. For them, the news will be delivered online.
We at the 36th Wing Public Affairs Office are working with Lee Weber, the Pacific Daily News publisher, to continue publishing The Pacific Edge. 

The move to Web-based news originate in part from Program Budget Decision 720. As a result of PBD 720, PA manpower is being cut 30 percent. At Andersen, the personnel are being reduced from nine to eventually four people. 

Studies show that in an average office, Airmen spend 22 hours writing articles, 22 hours reviewing those articles and 16-20 hours laying out the pages in a desktop publishing program. 

The working group calculated the average newspaper team spends 30-40 percent of their time in design and layout, as well as managing the proofing process. 

Eliminating the printed product would allow more time for producing better quality stories and photos for upload to the Web, which would serve a worldwide audience. 

At Andersen, our goal is to move all layout and design responsibilities to the PDN.
By allowing the publisher to layout and design The Pacific Edge, our staff writers are free to perform their primary function -- writing articles -- on a daily basis. We'll be able to cover more events and spread the word of the amazing achievements that the men and women perform on a daily basis. 

Moving online enables public affairs Airmen to publish the information in a more timely manner. Squadrons will no longer have to wait a week or two to see their achievements posted publicly. Once the story is completed, it and any accompanying images can be posted within minutes -- on the same day of the event. On a typical weekly newspaper cycle it would take at least a week, sometimes two, to provide coverage. 

Other well-respected news organizations are following suit. Speaking to hundreds of Los Angeles Times journalists in the newspaper's Harry Chandler auditorium Jan. 24, editor James O'Shea outlined a plan to increase traffic and revenue from LATimes.com in the face of an increasingly difficult economic climate for newspaper publishers, and urged journalists to think of the Web site as the newspaper's primary vehicle for news.
With the current budget and personnel cuts, Public Affairs staff Air Force-wide can no longer afford to maintain the pace that printed newspapers demand. 

Like LATimes.com, the Andersen web site allows Public Affairs to deliver information in a more timely fashion. If we have breaking news, the staff can take photos, write a news release and post the article online within minutes versus waiting a week or more for that same information to be released on paper.

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