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St. Thomas, Virgin Islands Launches OnePaper Edition

January 15th marked the official launch of St. Thomas Source, an edition of Onepaper and the territory's first on-line newspaper.
St. Thomas Source will offer news, commentary, resource data and a host of other information to island residents, former residents, property owners and would-be visitors, as well as people around the world who have an interest in St. Thomas goings-on.
Shaun A. Pennington is the publisher and owner of the Source.
St. Thomas Source is an edition of OnePaper Inc., an innovative company providing on-line community newspapers. OnePaper provides the platform and the national feed. Local publishers provide the local news and information for their communities.
"The beauty of this publication is that it is completely grassroots — the digital nature of the medium naturally eliminates some of the overhead," said Pennington. "We also have a large corps of volunteers who want a voice in their community. St Thomas Source can provide that."
One of the Source's premiere volunteers and advisers, Penny Feuerzeig, was executive editor of the Virgin Islands Daily News when the paper won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and scores of other national prizes.
"When I looked at the opportunity presented by OnePaper for small communities to have their own independent, on-line newspapers, I knew I had to get involved," Feuerzeig said.
The Source's advisory board is impressive, made up of respected journalists and community leaders: Feuerzeig, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Melvin Claxton, Carol Henneman, Frank J. Jordan and Henry U. Wheatley.
Jordan, another hard-working Source volunteer, is a former University of the Virgin Islands journalism professor and before that was dean of the School of Communications at American University. Jordan was also, for many years, an executive of NBC news.
The focus of St. Thomas Source is to provide news, informed commentary and information to readers here and abroad.
"There is really something for everyone," Pennington said. "News for locals and residents who are off-island, potential visitors and investors; commentary for the same audience, and lots of data and information for everyone — including potential visitors to our island."
St. Thomas Source expects to attract readership from the 10,000 or so Virgin Islands residents who have Internet accounts. In addition, the increasing number of students using the Internet at their schools and
libraries will log on to St. Thomas Source for research in its expanding databases providing information specific to the Virgin Islands.
Among the data now on the site: economic benchmarks, ferry schedules, cruise-ship visits and lists of restaurants, water sports, land sports, religious services and a calendar of events. Other data will be added to the site regularly.
"It is encouraging to see how many people are willing to give their time and effort to this venture. I am overwhelmed by the tremendous support that has been freely offered," Pennington said. "But that is why I have chosen St.Thomas as my home — the quality of the service to this community by its people is unparalleled."
Pennington first came to St. Thomas in 1967. She has an extensive background in management as well as advertising and public relations. She was a senior account representative with Austin Advertising and was a principal of AdOne, an advertising agency in Rochester, N.Y. She is also a free- lance writer.

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