Q: Why are you consolidating the newspapers into one?
A: Northwest Arkansas has grown into a major metro area without borders. Residents live, work and play in all the cities and towns that make up this vibrant region. We feel like its newspaper should reflect a similar approach. By unifying the coverage, we can focus on the things that are important to the people in Northwest Arkansas.
Q: What's going to change, really, besides moving the names of the local newspapers to a different section and making it the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette?
A: Decisions about the regional newspaper will be made locally, instead of in Little Rock. Coverage will no longer be divided into two separate papers. One front page will include local, regional, state and national news. The "B" section will include even more local news that did not make the front page. Local, state and national sports will be found in one sports section.
Q: Does this mean that people will be laid off?
A: Unfortunately, yes. However, this reduction in staff will be less than 4 percent. And this small reduction will allow us to eliminate duplication in efforts and repetition of stories in each issue. We will still remain the region's largest news team with 33 field reporters and a full staff of editors, photographers and designers.
Q: Where will the "main" office be located?
A: We have two primary locations -- one in Fayetteville and another in Springdale. Our reporters are assigned specific "beats," some based on geographic areas and some based on subject matter. But all of them are mobile so they can spend the time they need in the communities they cover.
Q: Does this mean there will be less news about my community?
A: No. In fact, we feel like we can provide increased coverage by reducing duplication in assignments. You can count on your paper reporting news that has an effect on you as a member of your specific town and as a citizen of the Northwest Arkansas community.
Q: Are there any "locally-oriented" sections that now appear in the local newspapers that will not appear in the consolidated paper? (This might include something like community calendar, etc.)
A: No. We plan to keep all locally oriented features.
Q: Will the communities that have the largest population/circulation receive more local coverage than others?
A: We plan to continue coverage in the same manner through a thoughtful journalistic approach in which we do our best to deploy our reporters and photographers to the most important events having the biggest impact on Northwest Arkansas.
Q: Are there any local stories/beats that you cover now that will not be covered in the consolidated paper? Conversely, how will local coverage be expanded, if at all?
A: We will not reduce our coverage of events in Northwest Arkansas. In fact, we will be able to provide more Northwest Arkansas news on the front page of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette than ever before. Additionally, there will be even more regional news in the B section. However, we will still provide the very best in statewide coverage to our readers.
Q: Will the consolidated newspaper change in size in any way?
A: We expect the size of the newspaper to vary based on news in the communities, as well as advertising volume. Any reductions in page count will come from a reduction in duplicated efforts.
Q. Isn't this the next step in the Democrat-Gazette taking over our local newspapers?
A: The news decisions will be made by editors who live and work in Northwest Arkansas, and who understand what living here is all about. All the editors have many years of experience working in the local dailies.
Q. Who writes the editorials?
A: The editorials in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will be written locally by people who live and work in Northwest Arkansas.
Q: Will I be forced to pay more money for news content that really doesn't interest or affect me?
A: The new format does not dictate a subscription rate increase. Our editors will continue to seek out and report the most important news of the day for Northwest Arkansas, so the news you receive will be more relevant to you than ever.
Q: Will the consolidated newspaper have "sections" for news from each community?
A: The "B" section of the newspaper will include local news for Washington and Benton County. There, readers will see content that they often saw in the Benton County Daily Record, Rogers Morning News, Springdale Morning News or the Northwest Arkansas Times. Additionally, each Thursday we will continue to publish "Our Town" a section that features community news from Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville. These will be specific to each of these areas.
Q. Is this a first step toward going to an exclusively "online" edition?
A. No. We plan to continue printing and delivering a daily newspaper.
Q. What's in it for me as a subscriber?
A. We expect that the new format will be easier to understand and navigate. There will be one central place for news, sports, and obituaries. There will be less duplication of coverage between separate newspapers. When Northwest Arkansas has important news it will be on the front page of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Q. Will there be any change in my subscription cost?
A. We are not changing the subscription rates due to this format change. There are some rates that have changed due to expired promotional rates.
Q. Will my delivery schedule/time change?
A. We do not expect delivery times to change. If anything, delivery times should improve in some areas.