By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Bladine: Gentle waves of technology can turn into tsunami

American households with television sets: From 9 percent in 1950 to 86 percent in 1959 (

Number of fax machines: From 25,000 to 250,000 in the 1970s, with 500,000 installed in 1985 and 5 million installed in 1990 (Wiki).

Percent of U.S. households with an Internet service: From near-none in 1990 to 92 percent now (Leichtman Research).

And how about this sobering quote from

“Newspapers as we once knew them will become extinct, and it is only a matter of time … By the time the standard newspaper lands at the front door the next morning, the headlines have already been covered online by multiple digital media outlets. The only way newspapers can compete with this speed is to bring the paper online.”


New technology that begins like soft waves on a calm beach can suddenly become a tsunami.

We have published twice-weekly “e-editions” for years — digital duplicates of our printed newspaper, free to print subscribers or as online-only subscriptions. Suddenly, that service is a source of reader controversy.

January 2024 brought significant N-R changes in response to a broken newspaper industry business model: Just one print issue on Fridays, but e-editions published Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Many subscribers welcomed the expanded schedule, but those lacking easy access to the Internet are upset or at least disappointed by the change.

It’s an evolving process. Editors and reporters are working hard to provide a complete news product to print subscribers, and readers are trying to adapt to new publication modes and schedules. Meanwhile, it’s important for readers to understand some basics about our website and e-edition services.
Online access: Print newspaper subscribers, even those without email addresses, can read all newspaper stories and digital e-editions by logging into our website. Access is available via computers, smart phones and digital tablets.

E-edition notices: Subscribers with online accounts receive convenient email notices when new e-editions are available. The general rule is one notice per online account, but some readers have requested separate email notices to multiple household members. We can do that, within limits, but those extra email notices will be eliminated regularly when the notification database is reset.

Logging in: Website and e-edition readers must log in through an established online account. Multiple readers from a subscriber household can use the same login name and password, but sharing that information with others — giving them access to with a paid subscription — violates newspaper subscriber rules.

E-edition content: Content in our standalone Monday and Wednesday e-editions will evolve over time, with broadest-possible news content in Friday’s print/digital edition. However, it is a new reality that access to all community news published by the N-R requires some access to our website or e-editions.

Patience welcome: These and other changes are an effort to maintain high quality community journalism while listening to the warning sirens of that pending tsunami. We welcome the passion from long-time subscribers who are not thrilled with the changes; we welcome the enthusiasm of readers who understand and accept the new programs; we encourage lots of ideas and patience along the way.

These cosmetic changes are challenging, but symptomatic of what is happening in the newspaper world. We will be launching more dialogues about the value of community journalism throughout this first quarter of 2024, and reporting on the results.
Meanwhile, thanks for being a reader.
Jeb Bladine can be reached at or 503-687-1223.


Web Design and Web Development by Buildable