Last night, my wife and I had pizza with a couple who recently moved to Midcoast Maine from Washington, D.C. We were amazed by the interesting lives these two had led prior to their arrival here: One had been a researcher with the National Institutes of Health and the other a curator for the National Gallery of Art.

Here was a reminder of the richness of our community and how frequently a compelling story gets told, whether in conversation with a construction worker, store clerk, fellow Rotarian or church member. A story that broadens the understanding of life, of processes, and complex interactions.

This conversation came at a timely moment. On Dec. 1, The Herald Gazette and The Republican Journal, sister papers serving the communities of Knox and Waldo counties, as well as Waldoboro in Lincoln County, will introduce a redesigned paper with a new focus. I have been trying to find a way to describe this new focus and now have it: We will be working to bring you, in these newspapers, the richness of the people, place, and the events that motivate each of us to live in Midcoast Maine. We will bring you the discoveries revealed during everyday encounters with neighbors and friends, with professionals and business owners as we go to work, school, community events, church, the harbors, lakes and hills.

This change will be a first step in a process. Many of you have been saying that our printed product is no longer relevant, that, before you receive the paper, you have already gotten all the news from our online sites of and

While we know that not to be the case, it is a perception, and perceptions, whether true or not, influence choices.

We understand that for some, our printed publications are not as relevant as they can and need to be.

So, we are introducing a new approach, one that places more emphasis on information that reveals the richness of this place we call home and the events and people we encounter in our day-to-day life.

Today, if you want to know how the vote went for a new school, or the reason for those loud sirens, or if you seek information about dinner specials at your favorite restaurant and what movie or theater play you might attend on a weekend, you no longer have to await your weekly newspaper. We have those answers for you online or on your mobile device.

Why buy a paper? Because it provides more than just those answers. You find stories that draw you in and illustrate our fascinating web of Midcoast communities. A columnist might offer an insight you’ve never considered, or a piece of local history is unveiled. Perhaps you learn that your neighbor has an amazing talent, or has been shy about a notable achievement. These are stories you were not expecting to read, and stories that will be moved to greater prominence in our papers.

We will include articles about businesses and organizations, harbors, the islands in Penobscot Bay, education, towns, and the myriad endeavors of our active, creative and inquisitive citizens. We will write about health and food, the young and elderly, and the landscape in which we live.

We will introduce more color and larger images, and seek more community members who can engage the reader. If you are such a person, or know such a person, please contact Lynda Clancy (, Holly Edwards ( Ken Waltz ( or Dagney Ernest (

Our commitment to covering politics and policy-making, education, crime, courts, sports and the arts will not diminish, but the way we present this information will change. A first step will be the merger of our Wednesday and Friday Herald Gazette editions into a newly designed and organized Thursday edition. This weekly publication will combine the best of the traditions of weekly newspapers, but enhanced with analysis, deepening context, expanded commentary and creative writing.

Advertisers will likewise be offered more space in which to present their goods and services to better serve online and print-reading customers.

We invite you to take a break from searching online for immediate answers and treat yourself to a leisurely read about the Midcoast. Be sure to pick up the Dec. 1 edition of The Herald Gazette and The Republican Journal with their new emphasis on revealing the richness of our community.