Local Newspapers have New Digital Editions


Who knew?  Well, I didn't.  The old Apple iOS GoSkagit app was terrible, and virtually unreadable.  It's been a year or two since I had looked at it.  

Then came mail delivery of the Skagit Valley Herald.  Since I don't pick up my mail every day, that wasn't working for me at all.  I was on the verge of cancelling, but thought I would take one more look at the digital version.

I searched "Skagit Valley Herald" in the Apple app store, signed in, and was I ever surprised by what I found.  Instead of small, unreadable print and getting firehosed with ads and auto-playing videos, there was a beautiful digital image of the printed edition.  It was also much nicer than the newsprint version.  I mean, really nice!  It was presented article by article, page by page, just like the newspaper.  This Apple (and I assume Android) app is completely new.
First, if you've not done so already, you'll need to create online accounts for either the Skagit Valley Herald or the Anacortes American to go digital.  A single account will serve both newspapers.

Navigating the app took a little getting used to, but after some trial and error, it started making sense.  For example, if you want to read an article, just touch it.  Up pops an enlarged reader view.  Here, you can also print or download a .pdf version of the article if you want.  It's "clip-and-save" for the digital age.  When you're done, hit the X.  If an article continues on another page, hit the page number (like A7) and it pops up.  The app opens with a quick tutorial on how to access reader view.  

 If you use a PC, load GoSkagit in your browser and sign into your account.  Click on "Latest E-Edition" (red arrow above) to access the paper.  To view the paper from past dates, click on the "Editions" icon on the right edge of the screen.  Use the Page Up and Page Down keys to navigate the pages in an edition.

As with the mobile apps, click on an article for reader view, or to print or download it.  It will appear on the right half of the screen.  For my old eyes, I'm finding these digital versions much easier to read than the printed newspaper because I can control the font size and the ink isn't faded.  

Advertising is not intrusive.  Because you're looking at an image of the printed page, there are no dancing GIFs or distracting videos.  And there are no junk mail inserts and no ad stickers on the front page.  

The Anacortes American also has a new app in the app store.  Search for Anacortes American.  On a PC, search GoAnacortes in your browser.  If you are a current print subscriber to either the Skagit Valley Herald or the Anacortes American, you already have access to the digital versions.  You can also convert your subscription to digital only by calling (360) 416-2171 to reach the Circulation Department or email circulation@skagitpublishing.com.  Currently, this will save you about $5.00/month for each paper.  In my case, she both switched my Herald subscription to digital only, and added the Anacortes American digital to my account.

There is another benefit with the digital editions.  On off days, when the paper isn't published, you get a National News supplement.  I never saw this with the printed versions.

Let's review the advantages of the digital editions:

  • Easier to read, especially for old eyes
  • Save a little money on digital only subscriptions
  • Virtually ad free, i.e. no inserts, no stickers, no GIFs, no videos, no popups
  • No need to trek to the mailbox or slog in the rain to retrieve them
  • They're available wherever you travel
  • If you use a Kindle or a Nook, you'll feel at home
  • A National News supplement is included on off days
  • Go digital, save a tree
The only disadvantage I've found so far, my dog loved bringing in the paper every morning.  I miss that little spark of joy he showed me when he did it.  Now I'll have to find him another job.

Images:  Skagit Publishing