Free and in print

Everybody's talking about paid and digital. But Sunday before last, we launched a product that's free, and in print.

Prototype page

Why? Because print still has an important role to play. Because it makes economic sense. And (there's a lesson in this for digital advocates) because one size does not fit all.

A key to understanding consumer media marketing is that different people have different interests, levels of civic engagement, and price sensitivity. A healthy product portfolio has multiple packages and prices of content and services -- including free.

Sunday FYI is a "selective market coverage" product that's delivered by carrier to non-subscriber households in key neighborhoods as a "reach extender" for the Sunday Savannah Morning News.

But it's not just an ad wrapper. We need readership, not just distribution, so some thinking has gone into the content. We're actually contacting residents and "selling" them the free product, so it has to be worth their time. They're paying, after all -- their attention.

And there's a digital connection. Page 2 of the Sunday FYI has a boiled-down version of the previous Sunday's big-hit enterprise story, with about half a page of select Web and Facebook comments.

It's a reminder that we do journalism that matters, and an open door to reengage in the civic conversation. The greatest enemy of journalism isn't change or economics. It's apathy.