PLENTY has been written in recent years about the future of newspapers.
For decades, experts have been predicting the demise of the printed paper, in particular, as more and more people turn to websites for their daily fix of news.
And while no one can doubt that newspaper sales have been on the slide, there is plenty to suggest that local newspapers are now more relevant than ever.
The Central Western Daily’s website, www.centralwesterndaily.com.au, is far more than just another way of delivering the news.
It is now the undisputed focal point for community discussion, and we have the numbers to prove it.
Website statistics are generally measured in two areas - page views and unique browsers.
Page views refers to the number of different pages readers might visit in a given period - say, a month - so a single avid reader might contribute 1000 or more page views in that time.
Unique browers, though, refers to the number of different computers or mobile devices our website is viewed on.
One person might access the website on a number of different computers and mobile devices and they would be counted as another unique browser each time.
On the other hand, a number of different people in a household might access the website from the same computer which, in this case, would still be counted as a single unique browser.
But whichever measure you prefer, the Central Western Daily has shown exponential growth over the past 12 months.
The growth has been driven by a commitment to engaging the community on key issues, while also providing content such as the 'Throwback Thursday' galleries that simply would not fit in the printed paper.
But the website does not exist in competition with the printed paper - it exists as a rich new channel of communication to support the printed paper.
The Central Western Daily remains a strong voice for the people of Orange and a cornerstone of the community - in printed and online form, now and into the future.