Are you one of the 80 percent of Americans who check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up? Do you, on average, check your phone about 110 times a day? Is your phone the place you go to shop, research information, express opinions, or just kill time?
Regardless of how you personally answered these questions, our young people, our mobile-first, smartphone-centric generation, who are probably not reading this column (or a diocesan newspaper), will answer with an emphatic ‘yes’ to all of the above.
That is we are making an appeal to all of our readers today to “go paperless.” You probably noticed a big advertisement wrapped around this week’s edition of the paper inviting you to do just that.
Let me explain why.
Everything was different on March 17, 1900, St. Patrick’s Day, when the Denver Catholic was born, with the cover printed in green ink in honor of St. Patrick. In its day, the diocesan newspaper was the tool every local church needed to communicate to its flock.
After changing its name to Denver Catholic Register, the publication slowly grew in size and prominence to become a key source of news and information for Catholics in northern Colorado. People young and old read it faithfully.
Did you know that it was here in Denver that the entire Register system of newspapers was born, and that this archdiocese published some 35 diocesan papers, as well as the National Catholic Register, boasting a combined weekly circulation of some 850,000?
It was an incredible operation, with impressive reach and influence, until everything began to change; at first slowly, and then very quickly.
Fast forward to 2015, and by now several generations have grown up in an almost exclusively digital world. Those coming of age today are the paperless generation, and they don’t read newspapers.
For this reason, the Archdiocese of Denver is aggressively seeking new and innovative ways to communicate with all Catholics of northern Colorado, particularly the younger, paperless generations.
But to do all of this, and to make room for these new tools and strategies, we need to reduce our print production.
Beginning in September, we will launch a new twice-monthly publication schedule for the print edition of Denver Catholic. This will considerably reduce the time and money the archdiocese invests in print, and give our team the ability to expand our digital content.
Second, we will launch a weekly Denver Catholic newsletter that will be sent to your inbox every Friday. It will be the same great content of the print product, but in digital form.
Third, we ask those who already read their news on digital devices to “Go paperless.” By reducing our print circulation, we will save on costly postage. Simply fill out the reply card embedded on the front page of this issue, fill in your email so you can receive the Denver Catholic digital edition, and drop it into the mailbox.
For those who love the print edition, and who want to keep it, particularly if you don’t own a computer or have Internet access, we will happily continue to send the newspaper to you free of charge.
Lastly, we need your support as we shift from a print-first to a digital-first model. I know many of our faithful print readers might be tempted to think we will forget about them.
But I invite you to look at it this way. We have important work to do to connect our young people with the message of the Church, and we want our print readers to be our partners. One way to do that is to actively promote Denver Catholic in print and online to every young person you know.
If we work together, we will reach, engage and form a new generation of Denver Catholics equipped to effectively address the challenges of their day with courage, strength and knowledge.
Go paperless here: http://denvercatholic.org/paperless