Out with the old, in with the new

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Today’s newspaper may very well turn out to be a collectible. You are reading the last Jewish Voice. The next time you receive your Jewish newspaper, it will feature a brand-new name – Jewish Rhode Island.

 

Whether you’ve called it The Voice, The Herald, or The Voice and Herald, you have probably been reading this newspaper for years. And so did your parents and maybe even their parents.

Through the generations, the paper has changed considerably.

If you take a look at The Herald in the 1930s – available at the Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association’s website, www.rijha.org – you’ll see a much different paper from the one that combined with The Jewish Voice in the mid-1990s. The Herald was an independently owned paper. It was a product of its times, with a classic nameplate, a lot of advertising, including classified ads, and a social report.

Fast-forward to the ’50s and you’ll see a more modern

nameplate on the paper and updated content, with more photos and more modern advertising.

The Voice also changed in its years as the newspaper published monthly by the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island. Called Federation Voice and The Jewish Voice of Rhode Island, the news was about all things federation.

In the early 2000s, the combined Voice and Herald acquired a new nameplate and design. And the changes continued, keeping in line with all newspapers.

The last update occurred in August 2013, when the Herald name was dropped in an effort to streamline a rather cumbersome title, and a modern nameplate and color palette were adopted.

Now, it’s time for another evolution.

Three weeks from today, we’ll bring you a new version of the paper, continuing its long history of serving and reporting on our community. As Jewish Rhode Island, we will remain “The Voice of Rhode Island’s Jewish Community.”

This time, the change is being driven by a change in our publishing schedule. Long a biweekly, we are switching back to a monthly schedule. Changing times, reading habits and advertising have hit newspapers across the country, and we are not immune. Though we have loyal readers, print editions in many markets suffer from falling readership. Overall, newspaper readership is greater than ever before, but today many readers prefer online editions.

The print edition is still critical to connecting our community. Research shows about a third of newspaper readers still prefer a printed newspaper. Print advertising still has much higher readership and recall than other mediums. And having a printed record of events, obituaries and photos helps maintain a community’s record.

When the paper was refreshed in 2013, we got a boost from more photos and community involvement. That’s a commitment we take very seriously. What has not changed over the years is the community news, including pictures, that fills the pages. We know our readers value our local, community focus. We have no plans to change that.

At the beginning of each month, you’ll still receive your

newspaper. During the rest of the month, look for updates and new content online at our website, jvhri.org. And starting in February, you’ll receive an electronic newsletter in your email inbox monthly. Make sure we have your email address so you get that update – register at the website jvhri.org.

We hope you’ll enjoy the strengthened local news report in the new Jewish Rhode Island, and that you’ll continue to help us connect with the entire Rhode Island Jewish community. We are always looking for community news and ideas. Send your news, ideas and comments to editor@jewishallianceri.org, or Jewish Rhode Island, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence, RI 02906.

We are Jewish Rhode Island. And so are you.