Catholic Free Press

Catholic Free Press Digital Edition

  • Feb
  • 5

eEdition opens pages to online readers

Posted By February 5, 2013 | 10:26 am | Featured Article #4
eEditionLOGO

By Jessica Valera
CFP intern

Subscribers The Catholic Free Press can  access the entire newspaper online through an electronic edition called the eEdition.
In attempts to keep current, The Catholic Free Press was prompted to add the eEdition to its array of news offerings that also include a website, regular email blasts and social networking. By becoming more accessible, the newspaper’s goal of evangelization for generations is broadened, stretching to an audience beyond the print subscribers.
“In this day and age, we need to go where people are – and many are online,” Margaret M. Russell, executive editor, said.

“The eEdition is a good way to reach those people who prefer to read the news online rather than in a traditional newspaper,” she said.
The eEdition does not replace the printed version of The Catholic Free Press, which reaches approximately 13,000 households each week; it is merely an addition to an expanding network of offerings.
It allows subscribers to view the paper anywhere that has an Internet connection, including on smartphones and tablets. With a user-friendly layout, the eEdition can be easily navigated using a table of contents, zoom-in and -out options that assist with legibility, and page turns with a click of a mouse or swipe of a finger. The search bar allows the user to search keywords throughout the weekly text to more easily find stories of interest.

Current subscribers to the printed paper can  subscribe to the eEdition for free by simply contacting The Catholic Free Press and giving them an email address. The CFP will send out a simple, follow-up email containing access information for the eEdition. The eEdition subscription is renewable anually.
New subscribers can get the eEdition plus the paper for $30; or choose one or the other. They can contact the paper’s office in several ways to sign up; by calling 508-757-6387; by email, circulation@catholicfreepress.org; or by using PayPal at www.CatholicFreePress.org.
The Catholic Free Press has long had a free-access website. Subscribers and non-subscribers alike frequent www.CatholicFreePress.org to read top local stories, look at photo galleries for pictures that were not published in the paper, and access the Catholic News Service, which provides national and international news about the Catholic Church.
The website receives more than 14,000 page views each month, even though it does not include many of the local stories, editorials and columns that define The Catholic Free Press. However, this is where the eEdition takes the spotlight.
“Our focus at The Catholic Free Press is to give people as much local news as we can; news that you can’t get elsewhere,” Mrs. Russell said. “The eEdition is one of the ways we can reach that goal online.”
The eEdition provides the same, page-by-page layout of stories, events, photos, and ads that are found in the printed version.
The eEdition also keeps a digital file of the archives of The Catholic Free Press starting in January 2012, granting access to the past editions through a keyword search bar, by inserting the date of publication, or general browsing.
Also to reach out to the tech-savvy, the CFP is featured on the social networks of both Facebook and Twitter, where users receive updates on the latest news and can link directly to the website for additional information and stories.
The interdependent online resources of The Catholic Free Press website, the social network pages, and the eEdition in particular, are making strides toward the evangelization goals of the paper in the digital world. There is also the hope that the technology will attract the younger generation and inspire them to read the diocesan paper.
“The eEdition is still in its infancy,” Mrs. Russell said. “But it already has its spot in the cutting edge of news business.”
With the creation of the eEdition and the success of The Catholic Free Press website, plans are being made to include a digital version of the Diocesan Directory in the collection. This fall an online version of the popular directory will be accessible with the same ability to search and link to  various advertisers and listings. The Diocesan Directory will employ the same, easy-to-use technology as the eEdition, and will be updated periodically. Subscribers to the eEdition will have free access to the directory as one of the benefits of their subscription.
Although digital access, and its existence in the lives of subscribers to The Catholic Free Press, is still relatively new, there is confidence that the popularity of the eEdition will spread.
“It will take time for it to catch on,” Mrs. Russell said. “But we have the vision to make it successful. And, it is eco-friendly.”