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The Adirondack Publishing office at 54 Broadway in Saranac Lake is home to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and Lake Placid News. (Enterprise photo — Andy Flynn)

Some younger readers may not remember it, but not very long ago, one couldn’t read newspaper articles for free. You had to buy the paper first, or get it from someone who had purchased it.

Nearly two decades ago, the Enterprise joined the wave of newspapers posting their content on their websites for anyone to read at no charge. It was a big risk to give away a valuable product, but there were several reasons for trying it:

One was to get more people reading the news, and that happened. Now we have more readers than ever before. The problem is, even though the Enterprise launched its online subscription package in 2014, fewer are paying for it.

The web was also a new platform for advertising, and newspapers hoped the extra ad revenue would pay for the content to be free, the same way television and radio content is free. That didn’t work out.

Our reporters and editors in the Enterprise and Lake Placid News newsroom in Saranac Lake keep busy covering news and sports around the Tri-Lakes. We also have employees to produce, print and distribute the papers, sell ads and manage the books. Those people need to get paid; they have families to support. That means we can not offer the fruits of their labor for free. After all, who is truly giving away their products for free?

“You get what you pay for.” That old maxim may have seemed to be temporarily suspended in the newspaper industry, but in the end, it holds true.

To those who do not yet subscribe, we ask: Is knowing worth paying for?

Is it valuable to know about the candidates in local, state and Congress elections? Is it valuable to know about school budget cuts or tax increases — and to know about them when there’s still time to speak up? Is it valuable to have reporters asking tough questions, investigating situations that smell funny and holding those in power accountable?

Is it valuable to know who died, what they did in their lives, who their relatives are and when and where the services will be? Is it valuable to know who was born, who is getting married and who was arrested?

Is it valuable to get a taste of upcoming events to help you decide what to go to? Is it valuable to have reporters interview artists, elected officials and regular folks to uncover the lively stories you never would know otherwise? Is it valuable to see local people’s pictures and names in the paper, to see who made the dean’s list or the honor roll? Is it valuable to have vivid coverage of local athletes, in stories and photos? Are crossword puzzles valuable? Local history? Witty anecdotes? Ideas on local things to do with kids?

Just last month, we saw our readers appreciate the hard work of our reporters when covering the contested elections in the towns of North Elba, Keene and Wilmington. One reader from the town of Jay reached out in an email:

“The Adirondack Daily Enterprise and Lake Placid News are my first stop for local news, especially the morning after Election Day. I appreciate all you do to keep our communities informed and up to date on what’s happening in local government.”

Like any other local business, we need your support. We need you to be a subscriber.

On our websites for the News and Enterprise, we feature a replica edition of the latest issue for your smartphone, tablet or computer. As a subscriber, you get complete access to our website content. That includes news and sports stories, obituaries, editorials and letters going back years.

Print subscribers get all this at no extra charge, and we have digital-only rates. You can sign up on the website or call our office at 518-891-2600. Existing subscribers should call our circulation manager, Liz Murray, to set up digital access.

Since 1895, we’ve been proud to say to you — whether you’ve read our newspaper for free or purchased it – thank you for being a reader. And more and more, we look forward to saying to you, thank you for being a subscriber.

Happy reading.


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