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What to expect from the Mail Tribune starting Saturday

The last printed issue of the Mail Tribune rolled off the presses late Thursday night and was delivered to homes and stores Friday morning.

Will Tempo still be included in the Mail Tribune e-edition? What about A la Carte and Oregon Outdoors?

Will I be able to see the Friday fishing report online? Will we still get TV Tempo, Since You Asked and the Universal Crossword? Letters to the editor?

For the past 10 days or so, Mail Tribune readers have called and emailed with questions about whether their favorite parts of the printed paper still will be available as we transition entirely to an electronic newspaper format.

The answer to all of these questions is: yes. In fact, all of those features already have been available electronically at mailtribune.com for years.

The Mail Tribune has no intention of reducing the amount of information available to readers. The company is simply changing the delivery method from paper and electronic to electronic only, which for most people will not require much of an adjustment.

Most people already are used to consuming news and entertainment electronically, whether it is watching sports on our phones, streaming television shows on Netflix and Amazon or clicking on articles shared by friends and family on Facebook and other social media.

Our focus on breaking news will not be diminished in the least by eliminating print. If anything, we will be faster and more nimble in our ability to publish information about fast-breaking news without the limitation of print deadlines.

At the same time, the paper will maintain its commitment to in-depth reporting. While it is important to deliver some information fast — such as the fire at Las Palmas in Jacksonville Tuesday that closed Highway 238 during the morning commute, or evacuations and closures spurred by the McKinney Fire — some news is best served with context.

One area where the Mail Tribune excels is the ability to dive deep into issues that affect life in Southern Oregon. Jobs, taxes, schools, health care, environment, local government, elections, business closures, new restaurant openings — that’s the bread and butter of local news. That all stays the same.

The inner workings of Medford City Council, plans to build a new jail, audits of the county assessor’s office, the appearance of new dangerous drugs on the streets, trends in crime and law enforcement — nobody can do a better job of reporting on topics like these in Southern Oregon than the Mail Tribune, and that doesn’t change with electronic delivery.

MT reporters will still be at Black Tornado football games on Friday night and shooting photos of the next Kyle Singler hitting jumpers in the South Medford gym.

We hope everybody in Southern Oregon will be there with us. A newspaper is an important part of the fabric of any community. It sounds self-serving for a newspaper to say that, but ask people in one of the many towns and cities where their local papers folded.

Information is not a luxury. It is fuel for the engine that drives our local economy. A newspaper allows people to gather and discuss what paths to take. It helps businesses tell us what goods and services are available to us. And the Mail Tribune is still providing that essential information.

Reach Mail Tribune Editor-in-Chief David Smigelski at 541-776-4484 or dsmigelski@rosebudmedia.com.