The future is here. It is digital.

From today, The Villager (incorporating Prime Focus) goes digital and will be published as a full daily newspaper by the end of the day.

Also, The Villager will also incorporate Prime Focus Magazine as a special section.

The decision to go digital is in line with the changing trends in the media industry where advertising and sales have fallen.

Without looking anywhere far, most daily newspapers in this countries are printing around 8 000 copies from Monday to Thursday and the double that on Fridays.

Most weeklies are around 5 000 copies and not every copy is bought because shelves will still have loads of weeklies waiting to be purchased.

In any case, the idea is to invest more in strengthening editorial so that we can bring more meaningful stories rather than pay heavily to print while quality suffers.

Moreover, most newspapers are operating with skeletal staff that has been reduced to practicing churnalism - writing from press statements and using news agency stories as well as public relations material.

Although the idea is to maximise profits, the result has been poor quality news. Of course, readers seem to have realised this, hence the fall in sales.

The significant decline in advertising because of Facebook and various other digital platforms has forced some local newspapers to undersell their advertising space just to make a dollar.

The transformation from print to digital has not been a tough decision to make because most newspapers world over have either gone full swing digital or are moving towards that route.

For us at The Villager, the change from print digital is a move meant to follow the readers. 

Indeed, with most potential readers accessing the internet and spending much of their time on their cell phones, the best we could do is follow them.

The decision to go digital will benefit the reader most because we are now a daily paper and will bring the news meant for tomorrow today.

For example, most people are on the internet countrywide even in areas where papers are not delivered. Those people can only rely on what they get via the web.

There are also instances, and these are many when papers are delivered to some areas two days later. In a digital age, this is unacceptable.

One of UK's oldest and biggest-selling newspapers, The Independent went digital in 2016.

Announcing the transformation in 2016, Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of The Independent, said the newspaper industry is changing, and readers are driving that change. 

"They’re showing us that the future is digital. This decision preserves the Independent brand and allows us to continue to invest in the high-quality editorial content that is attracting more and more readers to our online platforms," he said. 

The former Daily Mirror editor and professor of journalism at City University in London, Roy Greenslade, told the Irish Press Council in May 2016 that newspapers are facing a print cliff fall.

In 2011, the Guardian Media Group announced that the best way to go is to put digital first.

Although the group did not announce that they would stop print editions, they made it clear that the future was digital.

The then editor-in-chief, Alan Charles Rusbridger, said: "Every newspaper is on a journey into some digital future. That doesn't mean getting out of print, but it does require a greater focus of attention, imagination and resource on the various forms that digital future is likely to take." 

Newsweek that has been publishing for more than 80 years went digital in 2012.

The editor at the time, Tina Brown, while she had great romance for print, "it did very quickly begin to feel to me (like) an outmoded medium".

“While I still had a great romance for it (print), nonetheless I feel this is not the right medium anymore to produce journalism,” she said when they decided to go digital.

We, at The Villager, also feel the same. For us, going digital means adding value to the products because we have infinite space and infinity ideas.

From today, Monday 2 October 2017, we go live at 19h00, and this will be the case from Monday to Friday.

The future is here. It is digital.