New website serves local community

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee community’s oldest news source is also the most up-to-date resource for community information.

This week marks the launch of okeechobeenews.net. This new website is dedicated to stories and photos from Okeechobee County.

Navigation of the new web site is more straightforward, so when you visit www.okeechobeenews.net, it will be easier for you to find and share local stories.

The site remains affiliated with Newszap, our company’s long-time syndicated brand, but www.okeechobeenews.net is now a stand-alone entity, that will focus on very local news and more in-depth coverage of your community.

Besides the obvious facelift, we have also added several interactive features to  www.okeechobeenews.net. Among the most important additions is a new option to subscribe to an e-newsletter, which will be delivered every Friday morning to your e-mail inbox. A digest of headlines, with links to stories and photos, this newsletter will summarize the news of the week past, while also providing a useful reminder of upcoming events and meetings. You can even sign up for a breaking news edition, which will provide you timely, up-to-date alerts on important local stories as they happen.

Subscribing to the newsletter couldn’t be simpler. It is a two-step process: Visit  www.okeechobeenews.net, click the newsletter icon in the upper right-hand corner of the page, and enter your e-mail address. That’s it.  It only takes a couple of minutes.

Another important improvement to the web site is how well it will adapt to your mobile device. The site uses “responsive code,” which automatically senses whether you are visiting from a desktop computer, a notebook or tablet or a smart phone. What you see will be adjusted to fit the screen of the device you are using.

These changes, and others to come, are evidence of the Okeechobee News’ commitment to continuously improving the newspaper and our website. Our goal is to let our coverage of the community evolve as new technology becomes available and reliable. These changes are aimed at only one goal: To make it easier for you to read and access the local news.

We remain dedicated to serving the community with our print publication. For 100 years, the Okeechobee News has been this community’s main source of local information. We kept printing despite floods and hurricanes. We kept printing when a fire consumed the newspaper building. The Okeechobee News weathered the Great Depression and many other recessions.

While maintaining the print product, we welcome the new technology that allows us to also share news on our website, on social media and through e-subscriptions of the newspaper.

In addition to those who enjoy the routine of reading the newsprint edition, community members now get their news on their computers, tablets and their phones. We embrace the challenges of the new technology, just as we have never shied away from other challenges for the past century.

The Okeechobee News is evolving, but the core values remain the same. We remain dedicated to bringing our readers the information they need to make the daily decisions so important to their lives. We celebrate the community’s achievements. We share the pain of the tragedies. We provide an open forum for community discussion and debate.

The mission of the Okeechobee News is to serve, nurture and celebrate this community.

The Okeechobee News is published by Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA (INI), which in turn is owned by a non-profit journalistic trust that shares the commitment to the newspaper’s mission. We think local communities are of the utmost importance, and that they must be preserved and strengthened.

Publisher/Editor Katrina Elsken can be reached at kelsken@newszap.com

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