When Commonwealth Journal Editor Emeritus Bill Mardis started at the newspaper nearly six decades ago, the age of Linotype was in full bloom.
For younger readers who have no idea what Linotype is, it refers to a a composing machine producing lines of words as single strips of metal, used chiefly for newspapers. But that era is gone and the Linotype is a dinosaur.
When Commonwealth Editor Jeff Neal started his career in the early 80s, composing a newspaper was done by computer, but the actual newspaper design was done with a pencil and a ruler and copy was waxed and pasted onto the page by hand.
Tools for a reporter were pretty much limited to a pen and a notebook.
As a sports editor, Neal charted games himself and kept his own statistics. Now, sports writers have the luxury of Internet statistical sites that keep the play-by-play for them.
Photographs were shot on film that had to be carefully developed and printed. Now, everything is digital and photographers can see the fruits of their labor immediately.
And, of course, the newspaper itself was limited to a daily print edition.
Now, the newspaper industry is changing rapidly and the Commonwealth Journal has made strides to keep up the pace. Last year, the CJ upgraded its equipment throughout the building, streamlining the process between reporters gathering their stories and those stories being put on the page in an attractive design.
In the digital age, newspapers have several different ways to disseminate information. We still have the carrier-delivered tried and true print edition -- but we also have an E-newspaper that can easily be accessed online. We have a CJ app so you can read the latest edition on your devices. If a story breaks after our print deadline? Not a problem. We used to have to wait until the next day to provide that late-breaking information to readers. Now we have a website where breaking news can be posted. And it goes straight to your app via an alert if you're a subscriber.
The CJ has other avenues to bring you news that effects our region. In June, we will launch "In Touch with Southern Kentucky," a comprehensive monthly magazine that will feature articles on health, home and business in Pulaski County and beyond.
There are also plans in the works to provide a more advanced visual product to our readers in the form of online videos and podcasts.
The Commonwealth Journal will continue to thrive in the digital era because, quite frankly, we're embracing it.
At the end of the day, your local newspaper is still the best way to track news that emanates from your community.
And that's something that hasn't changed in six decades.
THE COMMONWEALTH JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD consists of Michael McCleery, Publisher; Jeff Neal, Editor; Bill Mardis, Editor Emeritus; Steve Cornelius, Sports Editor; Mary Ann Flynn, Advertising; and Shirley Randall, Production.