Sail on home to Jesus won't you good girls and boys; I'm all in pieces, you can have your own choice.
APRIL 12, 2011: On Jan. 16, 1991, the entire world of information exploded. Within a week, everyone in American wanted cable television.
The reason was simple. That is the day the Persian Gulf War began. If you had cable, you could watch CNN's real time reports from the battlefield. You could watch U.S. generals give live press conferences. You could watch videos from the noses of smart bombs heading for targets.
Cable TV existed before 1991, but that was the year it came of age.
Now fast-reverse to 1861.
When the first shots of the U.S. Civil War were fired this day 150 years ago, citizens wanted to read everything they could about a war many thought would be over within weeks. And as the war continued to escalate into a full-scale bloodbath, daily newspapers — with daily war reports — were created in small towns throughout America.
That is the backdrop of the history of the Watertown Daily Times, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary.
We will be celebrating this historic achievement later this year. But when we do, there will be more than just cake and candles on the table.
Right now we are undergoing a $250,000 internal makeover of our content management system. Staffers from our papers throughout the north country are in training and we are anticipating a mid-summer turnaround in the way we produce our products.
Just as the public once demanded daily newspapers and cable news, now it demands information around the clock and on more platforms. And that's what Northern New York newspapers will be able to do later this year.
The changes we are making will soon allow us to produce an e-edition of the newspaper. You'll be able to get an “app” of the paper for your cell phone.
While we already put breaking news on our website, we will have the capability of instantly posting news and photos from any location where our reporters find news. We will be also posting more photos and videos.
Our newspapers in Lowville, Carthage and Malone will also be getting their own websites.
The Times has weathered the challenges of the last few years and is expanding. We continue to bring talented journalists to the region, including a new editor starting in two weeks for our papers in Carthage and Lowville. And our website has more unique readers each month than any other local news website.
We'll be inviting you to join us in our celebration later this year and to try out all the ways you can get more news, more quickly, more often.
We'll likely stick with our motto, “News for today, history for tomorrow.” But this year you may also hear us proudly noting that we're “150 and counting.”