The area’s most widely read newspaper now has a new avenue for getting local news and sports to readers in this area and beyond. The Star Journal and Hodag Buyers’ Guide are now available online at starjournalnow.com, and the new website is much more than an electronic duplicate of the papers’ print editions.
“Starjournalnow.com will be updated daily and will provide our readers a way to access local news and information 24 hours a day,” said Pete Daniels, publisher and general manager. “It will also be another way for readers to interact with others in the community.
“The site will include some of the stories from the print edition, plus many more that did not appear in print,” he continued. “It will also include business and lifestyle articles from Northwoods Commerce and Living on the Lake magazines, and will have an archive of news from past editions.”
Paradoxically, while the papers’ reach has now expanded globally, the website is enabling readers to form stronger connections at the community level.
“I’ve always felt that the Star Journal belongs to this community, and this will allow the community to really take ownership,” said Craig Mandli, editor of the Star Journal and Hodag Buyers’ Guide.
In addition to news, sports and feature stories, readers will also find articles from familiar Star Journal and Buyers’ Guide columnists, as well as opinions from new contributors on a wide range of subjects. Initial bloggers will discuss local and state politics, the local economy and many other topics. “We are also anticipating several more community bloggers who will touch on everything from the latest in local health care to where the fish are biting,” Mandli said.
The site encourages reader interaction by allowing viewers to voice their opinions and share articles on Facebook and other social media. Readers are encouraged to comment on stories that appear on the website, and they’re welcome to submit their own stories and photos.
“If you have a great story or an awesome photo, it will be really easy to put it on starjournalnow.com for the whole community to see,” said Mandli. For example, notice of an event, a story about a family reunion, a multi-generation family photo, or a picture of a trophy walleye can easily be shared with readers everywhere. Simply click on the “submit a photo” or “submit a story” button on the website and follow the instructions to send a submission.
“Where we’re limited in the amount of space we have available week-to-week in the print editions of the Star Journal and Buyers’ Guide, we’ll have much more flexibility with the website,” he continued. “That’s going to be a great thing for the Northwoods.”
Readers’ opinions about the website itself are also welcome. “We encourage readers to give us feedback about the website,” Daniels said. “If readers have suggestions for how to make this site even more user-friendly and welcoming to viewers, we hope they’ll feel free to share them with us.”
While readers will find a lot to like about the new website, advertisers will also benefit from the papers’ expanded reach. “We are thrilled to be able to offer our advertisers yet another way to reach consumers,” said Eileen Persike, account executive. “We now have an expanded ‘local’ market, and that’s exciting for all of us.”
“The site will provide another great option to our advertisers to complement their print ads in the Star Journal and Buyers’ Guide,” Daniels said.
“Now we’ll be able to give readers the news and information they’ve grown accustomed to in our papers on a daily basis,” Mandli said. “We’re looking forward to making this site the place that people come to first when they look for what’s happening in the Northwoods.”