Northwest Herald to Go Paperless

September 29th , the Northwest Herald launched a month-long campaign to improve the environment. It’s sort of a “think globally, but act locally” kind of thing.

Producing the series keeps reporters busy who could otherwise be investigating how the McHenry County College minor league baseball stadium proposal came into being.

Now, out of the clear blue sky, McHenry County Blog has received a shot from the blue about the last story in the series. Here’s the way the story begins,

”In an effort to improve the environment, the Northwest Herald,
based in Crystal Lake, Illinois, will become the first newspaper in the United States to go paperless.”

The paper will note that thrown-away newspapers are a large component of trash and vow to do something about it.

They are going to eliminate the need to throw away newspapers by going 100% electronic.

“We are pioneers,” observed Group Editor Chris Krug. “This is the last time you will see my Sunday column printed on paper. Think of all the garbage truck emissions that our action will save! And, that doesn’t even count the elimination of global warming gases coming out of the tailpipes of our delivery people and the trucks that bring our rolls of newsprint.

“We at the Northwest Herald can’t think of anything more significant we could do to reduce our carbon footprint than to stop buying newsprint made out of earth’s precious trees.

“A bonus would be our reduced use of electricity and gas. With the printing press no longer running, the savings of electricity is obvious. Not so obvious is that we shall not have to heat a large part of our building.

“There will be unintended favorable consequences.

“The ink we are using for the last time today will no longer be on kitchen tables and table cloths all over McHenry and northern Kane Counties.

“My column will still be available in the Ethernet,” Krug stressed, “but it will be delivered cleanly.

“As we move from paper to electronic delivery, we shall do even more to emulate television. Our stories will get softer. We will start integrating ourselves into our articles, the same way TV does. We think we made a good start toward that by putting the picture of Eric Olson riding his bike to work from Cary.

“As a good faith effort to soften our impact on your daily lives, we didn’t run the picture of Eric almost getting hit by a car as he rode down Three Oaks Road.

“A follow-up series will also feature how Northwest Herald employees like Eric are keeping fit while they do their bit to save the environment.”

Krug noted that the Northwest Herald will still allow satirical comments to be posted under stories of its electronic edition and, to prove it, he pointed out that the first comment on the first story had not even been removed:

Roy wrote on Sep 29, 2007 11:45 PM:

“Adapt or die. Simple concept. Deal with it. But don’t ask for my help. Don’t tax me – leave me alone – just go into your hole and expire like a good organism, because I can adapt and you can’t. “

But, he added, “There is not way we are going to allow commenters to put their comments into paragraphs. That might increase the forcefulness of those who post longer commentaries.”

“We shall hermetically seal two editions of last paper edition of the Northwest Herald.

“One will be presented to the McHenry County Historical Museum in Union and the other placed in a time capsule under home plate at McHenry County College’s minor league baseball stadium.”

Oh, yes. You know this is a joke, right?

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