It’s a new day for the Rio Rancho Observer.

We have decided that the best way to go these days is digital first. Online. Internet. Like just about every other newspaper in the U.S.

It’s not without a bit of sadness that print news is fading. Most of us grew up on paper newspapers, broadsheet, tab, and thick Sunday reads with gobs of advertising.

It’s a different world.

People get their news on mobile phones, tablets and computers. There are videos, slide shows and audio. You can interact.

My name is Garrison Wells. I am the new executive editor at the Observer. My task is to help with the weekly newspaper’s transition to the web and update the print version.

My background fits.

I am a veteran journalist (old) who has worked on metro dailies as a reporter, business editor and managing editor. Among them, Nashville Business Journal, The Denver Post, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Myrtle Beach Sun News, Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press, Lansing State Journal. My last full-time gig was at the Colorado Springs Gazette, where I started at morning cops, graduated to evening cops, to county commission coverage, to columnist and regional reporter.

As people shift to the internet, newspapers find they have to shift, too, to keep readers and to remain relevant. Advertisers also see the Internet as the future, and we are making the move for both them and readers.

Used to be, the telephone was in the house. Now it’s in your pocket, or purse. And you never, ever, leave the home without it. If you do, there’s a sense of loss. You ask people to call your phone so you can find it.

Not saying that is a good or bad thing. It’s just, so.

The transition, though, is a good thing. It means:

  • We provide relevant news to you every single day.
  • It’s right there, on your phone, tablet or computer.
  • There is more data, more content and more connections than ever before.
  • We’re adding news from Corrales, Bernalillo and Placitas.
  • You can get your news in a variety of ways from us, through radio, livestreaming podcasts, our newly revamped website.
  • Read columns from the Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce, Rio Rancho hospitals, Corrales Mainstreet, area churches, Sandoval County — and more are coming.
  • You will see more photos, slide shows and video.
  • We are turning our conference room into a podcast studio for live broadcasts.
  • We are adding staff: reporters and correspondents.
  • We’re making it easier for advertisers, both in print and online. Advertisers can use our video or audio to give their messages online. We will be able to do live video streams.
  • You will see more breaking news from our beefed-up coverage.
  • Through our “Ask Wanda,” “Ask a Public Official,” and “Ask the Chamber,” columns, you will be able to interact with us. Email us the questions and we will find answers for you.
  • And you will be able to buy photos that appear in the paper or online from us, like those great sports photos.

Go online with us. Everything, literally, is there.

You’ll even get to read the column that I wrote at the Gazette: “Ramblin’ Man.”

Oh. Lucky you.