News around the clock

Instant feedback is another benefit of the revamped Web site. Mulligan said that instead of writing a letter to the editor about a particular story and having to wait two weeks to see it published, readers can take part in an online "dialogue" of sorts by posting com-ments at the end of the story or in one of the blogs.

"This is an excellent way to enhance the content of our newspapers, and a great way to serve the readers in our communities," said Katherine McCarthy, senior managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers. "And Tim is the right man to head this up."

Both Mulligan and Lovell agree that enhanced media is the future of journalism, but said it doesn't mean that it's ringing the death knell of the community newspaper.

"I think they work hand in hand," said Lovell. "They complement each other. People may use the newspaper article as gateway to the Web site, but I don't think that it will ever become a replacement for an actual newspaper you can hold in your hand."

Mulligan agrees. "People still want a product in their hands," he said, but added the Web's com-petition may lead to a decrease in daily and weekly newspapers if they don't find their niche. "With us it's community news. I think some of the larger newspapers don't have the ability to cover news like we do in a lot of the communities, and with that, I think our print edition is going to stay around. The Web site will help us enhance that and, in tandem, help us produce a stronger news product.""

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