If you’re reading this, chances are you are a seven-day home delivery customer.  We have some important news to share with you.  

Starting on March 2, we will deliver the Monday paper in digital format only.  We’ll continue to report, edit, design and layout the Monday paper but instead of appearing on your doorstep or in your delivery tube, it will arrive electronically by 4 a.m. (no matter the weather) as an ePaper.   

We will continue to deliver print newspapers all other days of the week.

This was not an easy decision. Our mission is to be a powerful force for good. We take it seriously and we will do everything we can to protect it. We also appreciate that we are a seven-day-a-week presence in our readers’ lives. 

But we believe this move will advance our mission and enable us to report the news every day. Ultimately, we believe it will prove to be in the best interest of the communities that rely on our journalism. 

The essential work we do in our newsrooms enhances community life, it exposes mental and social health care problems and brings solutions forward. One recent example is our investigation of complaints filed against residential care and nursing homes in Maine by patients and their families. That investigation revealed Lewiston’s Marshwood Center to be the business with the highest number of verified complaints in Maine, and prompted dozens of people to step forward with their personal stories — exposing a long and troubling history of problems with patient care at Genesis HealthCare, Marshwood’s parent company.  

We work to expose wrongdoing in government, including the monthslong struggle in Mechanic Falls over the wrongful firing and eventual rehiring of Town Manager Zakk Maher. Our coverage included accusations of illegal meetings, findings that town officials violated the municipal charter and state law in dismissing Maher, and the emotionally charged movement to recall selectmen who had voted to remove Maher from office. Townspeople there relied on our journalism to inform them about the legal battle between Maher and elected officials, and to help them make decisions about issues raised during the fight for recall. 

The Sun Journal broke the story of sophomore Jonathan Schomaker, a student-athlete at Leavitt Area High School in Turner, who fought for the right to compete in the regional and state cross-country championships — using his wheelchair — alongside the other athletes. Our coverage included race coverage and exclusive reports of his negotiations with the Maine Principals’ Association and eventual victory in earning a spot to race and be scored in his own wheelchair division — making state history in the process.

Communities are healthier, more engaged, more resilient and better able to thrive when informed by truth, and our work to do that is expensive. While some technologies have made production of our daily paper more efficient, nothing can replace the reporters, photographers and editors who produce quality, local journalism.  

“Feet on the street” is how we find and cover the stories important to readers. Moving to Digital-Only Monday saves significant dollars in newsprint and delivery costs needed to offset declining advertising revenue and newsstand sales, and increasing expenses, including health insurance.  The expense savings from Digital-Only Monday delivery preserves jobs and our journalism by allowing us to maintain current staffing levels in our newsrooms.   

Knowing so many of our readers value their daily puzzles, we will be running the Monday Sudoku, the crossword puzzle and the TV grid in our Sunday edition. They’ll still appear in Monday’s ePaper, but if you like to cut these out to work on them or for reference, you’ll still be able to do that.

We’re not the first newspaper in the country to reduce a day of print publishing, but not every publisher has offered an ePaper as an alternative. We know you like the format and layout of the print paper and that’s what you’ll find in the ePaper (minus the ink rub-off).  We’ve learned from other newspapers, the key to a smooth transition is repeated clear communication and hands-on assistance.   

Let’s get that process started: 

As a home delivery customer, you get full access to our digital products — sunjournal.com, our ePaper, email products and more.  To take advantage of these digital offerings, you’ve got to connect your account for access.  It’s just three easy steps: 

  1. Visit sunjournal.com/connect 
  2. Use the look-up options to find your home delivery subscription.  You’ll need one of the following: account number, a ZIP code/phone number, or ZIP code/house number. 
  3. You’ll create a user name and password and then use these credentials to log into the website and ePaper.  

If you still need help, you can call us at 784-5411 or email us at [email protected].  Or come to our office at 104 Park St. in Lewiston any time from 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan.  29.  We’ll give you a tour of the place, a cup of coffee and get your digital account activated. 

In addition to the open house, we’ll be at public libraries and all Sun Journal events for the next two months with staff ready to assist you.  Watch for ads in the paper with details on when and where we’ll be.  

We know not every reader has access to the internet or even wants to read the paper online.  While not all print readers will support this move to a digital-only Monday, we hope you understand the reasons behind this move.  

The alternative would be job cuts and a smaller newsroom, and the quality of journalism and our ability to shine a spotlight on the important stories would be diminished. Cutting the Monday print edition is a much better way to serve all our readers. 

We will try to make this transition as smooth as possible. We are grateful for your support. 

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