By Scott Baughman

This issue of The Mountain Breeze marks an important milestone in the history of the publication. If you’ve visited the website for the newspaper in the last few weeks, you’ve no doubt noticed a change. Actually, you have probably noticed many, many changes – starting with a complete redesign of the entire site.


And now, we’ve got an even bigger step toward the future of the news business. Beginning with this issue, The Mountain Breeze will be available digitally, in its entirety as a PDF file hosted on our website. This file is essentially the pages of the newspaper presented digitally on the Internet. You can view the file using your computer, your laptop, your smartphone, or your tablet. Any device that can connect to the Internet is able to display the complete issue of the paper.


It’s true that the text and some photos from each issue have been available online for years now, but this is the first time that the entire paper – ads, calendars, etc. – is available in the exact same format and presentation online as it is in the physical, printed version of the publication. Many other publications have done this conversion years ago – but we felt the time was right now to present The Breeze in this way.


Lake Lure and the surrounding community continue to grow and the Internet itself continues to become an ever-increasingly important part of our day-to-day lives. Why not make sure that growth is presented online in the most efficient and easily accessible way possible?


The digital edition of The Breeze will look exactly the same, and unlike clicking around on links to find certain stories online, you’ll actually be able “turn the pages” of the paper by swiping on your touch screen or pulling them over with your mouse! It’s like an exact virtual copy of the paper! Truly, these are exciting times. And for our advertisers we’ve got the digital links set up on their ads on the page.


Looking at the mouth-watering entrees in a restaurant ad? Want to go to their web site so you can read the entire menu or check prices? Just tap or click on the ad itself and the digital link will take you directly to their website.


Want to ask a particular business a specific question not answered in their ad? Just click on or tap the ad on the page of the digital edition of The Breeze and you’ll be able to contact the company through their web site!


The Internet has always been about the free flow of information and connecting people. By moving The Breeze online to a completely faithful digital edition we are harnessing the power of the web to let people near and far get more mileage and more information out of our hometown newspaper.


But one thing that won’t be changing as we move into this brave new world is the Mountain Breeze’s commitment to community journalism. Just because we’re changing the way we present the paper online doesn’t mean we are changing the content. If anything, there will be more of an emphasis on community journalism and being your source for Lake Lure area information. Because now more than ever, more people in more places will be able to read what we are putting out in a format that makes perfect sense.


If you’re a longtime local reader who looks forward to a certain column or feature in The Breeze each issue, you’ll still get that now in two forms – print and digital. And if you’re a reader who only spends a certain amount of time in Lake Lure each year but wants to be kept up on what’s going on while you’re away – reading The Breeze online will now be that much easier and even more authentic as you get to see exactly what the print version looks like via the Internet.


We hope you enjoy this new way of presenting The Breeze and that you’ll enjoy reading our humble, hometown paper no matter where you are in the world, for years to come.