All this for free?

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An editorial by the CKNJ Editorial Board

We don't make a habit of tooting our own horn, but every now and then we feel it's important to remind readers of all that their community newspaper offers for free - something that no one else in town can.

In addition to in-depth news and events coverage in each issue, we also enjoy publishing reader-submitted news. With our small staff, we recognize that we can't be everywhere all the time, so we count on our readers to submit news.

What can you submit for free?

Here's a list: weddings, engagements, anniversaries, birth announcements, birthdays, beauty pageants, military news, civic club news, family reunions, church news, school news, calendar of events items, sports stories and photos, team rosters and schedules, outdoors photos such as deer, turkey and fish, letters to the editor and guest columns. There are even three classified ad categories that are free - "Lost," "Found" and "Free Items."

We also provide free obituaries with basic information - the name of the deceased, age, residence, date of death, names of parents, spouse and children and funeral information. Personalized, paid obituaries are available for those who would like to include more information. All obits, free or paid, must come from a funeral home.

The only submissions that aren't free on the "News" side of the office are Kids Corners, and those are just $2 each.

The only other items that come with a fee are advertisements and subscriptions.

The whole point is that we're a community paper. You won't often find world, national or state news on our pages - unless it comes with a local connection.

Our intent is to be a reflection of your lives.

Yes, sometimes that includes unpleasant news such as criminal activity, but what community is crime free? We will not hide that news, but we hope to always be able to balance it with positive, uplifting stories about what's going on in your community.

In addition to our print edition, we also provide a free website for readers at www.cknj.com. However, you must register online.

Everything that is published in the print edition is also available online - even an exact replica of the newspaper pages that print readers enjoy. The site is also updated frequently with obituaries and breaking news.

Print subscribers can access all of the Web content for free. And those who are not subscribers can still access free information online - blogs, poll questions, Pet of the Week, multimedia slideshows and video.

Important information that readers need to know - weather alerts, school closings, etc. - will always be free.

Now available is a new way to help spread the cost of a subscription over an entire year - the CKNJ's EZ Pay plan is just $3.98 a month on your debit or credit card.

If you want to learn about breaking news when it happens or what's coming up in the next issue, sign up for our e-mail alerts - also free. Don't worry, we won't fill up your inbox with spam and junk. As a general rule, the only e-mails we send are the twice-weekly headline lists and any breaking news items we feel you need to know about.

The Central Kentucky News-Journal is the ultimate scrapbook. Where else can you get this much for free?