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Metro Voice to end print edition, expand online

BIG NEWS ahead! 2017 marked two important milestones for the Metro Voice. In April Anita and I were presented with an “Award of Excellence” at the annual convention of the Evangelical Press Association. The award was for newspaper of the year.
The EPA is the professional organization for evangelical magazines and newspapers across North America and beyond. Familiar names of members include Christianity Today, Decision Magazine, to a host of publications from Focus on the Family and many denominational newspapers and magazines. It was a great honor and we share it with our readers, advertisers, staff and the many churches and organizations that distribute us each month.
Our second milestone comes with this, the January 2018 issue of the paper. As of our print date for the January edition (which was before Christmas) we became the oldest independent Christian newspaper in North America.
We will hold that distinction for two months––January and February. February will be our last printed newspaper as we transition to a totally digital publication with a weekly email sent to thousands of readers.
We have been praying about the decision for some time. We came to the conclusion that we could better serve our loyal readers AND gain a new generation of readers if we were willing to change and adapt to technology and reading habits.  That’s something difficult to do when you reach a certain age. It is no secret that those over 50 still enjoy the feel of a printed publication in their hands. Younger generations typically get their news only from the Internet and then primarily through their phones.
We believe we have a responsibility to, as conveniently as possible, make news with a Christian worldview easily accessible. We also need to be where all generations find their news to fulfill our motto: “Be Informed. Get Involved. Engage Your Faith.”
Beginning March 1, Metro Voice will send out a once-a-week email filled with the latest local, state, national and world news, plus the latest concert announcements, entertainment reviews and news on faith and culture. You can sign up HERE and when the email starts, click on the stories that interest you and it will lead you to our greatly expanded website featuring more news and videos.
Because our website is now being updated daily, we are really becoming a daily news source for the Kansas City area.  All of the things you love about Metro Voice will remain: news from a Christian perspective; the huge calendar of events, music, book, movie and streaming reviews; lively and thought-provoking opinion, special features on education, retreats and camps and the life issue. Plus stories on people making a difference for Christ in our communities. In fact, since our full effort will now be devoted to our website and weekly email, the possibilities on what we can cover are endless! No longer are we constrained by 24 pages of newsprint.
We could not do this without the unfailing and loyal support of our many advertising sponsors, who include small businesses, churches, ministries and individuals. After meeting with them during December, we are so blessed to report that 100 percent of these wonderful people have committed to transfer their advertising support from print to our new digital effort. Every single advertiser has said they will be there for us in this new and exciting transition. Did you catch that? Every advertiser. That is a blessing from God.
So what can you do? Glad you asked! Here are seven ways you can actually partner with us for the future:
1. Click HERE and join our weekly email community. The email is convenient, straight to your inbox just once a week, and best of all–it’s free!
2. Like our Facebook page. Just search for Metro Voice Newspaper. Ours is the one with the Kansas City skyline. You can also follow us on Instagram at metrovoicenews
3. Whether you are on Facebook or on our website, like and share our stories to your own Facebook page. When on our website, a handy side window pops up on the left to allow you to share to several social media platforms. This helps us build our community.
4. Continue to support our advertisers. They make all this possible. They will be sponsoring our weekly email and website with easy ways for you to connect with them.
5. Send us your church or community events and news. Be our eyes and ears in the community so we can share that information with others.
6. Donate. While we will continue to provide all that we do at no charge, please fill free to support our work as you would a missionary. There are so many people we can reach in the area and your support makes that possible.
7. Pray. Our sincerest desire is to be available to a new generation while keeping all the things our regular loyal readers love about Metro Voice. This will require flexibility on our part and us learning new skills.
This news may be a shock to you. It is certainly a paradigm shift for us but one we are truly excited about.  Both Anita and I feel a renewed passion and mission for what we do. We look forward to you joining us on this new journey. Happy New Year!
–Dwight Widaman