The Pilot starts free wireless Internet service

see www.RuralJournalism.org

The Pilot of Southern Pines, N.C., will start a wireless Internet service for southern Moore County to "bind the community together in a dynamic and compelling way with The Pilot's products and Internet service," the three-times-a-week newspaper announced in a story yesterday.
"The Pilot wants southern Moore County to unplug and access the Internet's infinite space unburdened by wires," wrote online coordinator Ryan Tuck, who paraphrased Publisher David Woronoff as saying the service will be accessible at no cost to everyone in the newspaper's service area, whether readers of the 15,300-circulation paper or not. "It's just another example of our commitment to serving Moore County in a complete and comprehensive fashion," Woronoff said.
The paper's Web site averages about 5,000 unique visitors and 23,000 page views per day. "The online push has energized The Pilot's staff, providing new and exciting tools to tell the community's stories," said Steve Bouser, the paper's editor. "We're determined to think about The Pilot as more than a newspaper. It's an information portal. The main thing readers will notice is that there'll be lots of opportunities online to dig deeper into stuff they'll read in the paper."
Later in the year, the newspaper will launch a fee-based high-speed wireless broadband network to complement the WiFi network," Tuck reports. "Woronoff predicts that the launch of such a network, which will utilize the cutting-edge WiMax technology, will be complete by the end of the year."
The Pilot's web site has been owned since 1996 by Woronoff, Frank Daniels Jr., Frank Daniels III, Jack Andrews and Lee Dirks, all previously associated with the News & Observer of Raleigh.

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