The phone rang on a Thursday morning.
The voice on the other end was
sharp and to the point. “People are
now expecting it, and they are wondering
why it is not here.” The paper was
gone. This type of phone call is not a
one-time occurrence. Another local
businessman asked this week by e-mail,
“Why are there no goats at the cafe
here in McBride?” Upon asking our
distributor”¦well there were a few days
ago. We are replenishing the local IGA
three times a week. All of a sudden, I
am realizing that 1500 copies a week
is not enough. A Jasper resident asks
if we will start covering more Jasper
news, and if we can send more than 200
copies per week to Jasper as they are all
gone within days. Wow! Could we have
expected to gain a following so quickly?
We have had to re-think out marketing
here over the last 11 issues. We
want to be YOUR local paper. Owned
by locals, written for locals. We encourage
all input and take any criticism as
a challenge to rise to. We will have the
odd spelling error, not because our
university degrees a fraudulent, but
because there is only two of us, and we
finish the paper at 4 a.m. every week.
We need staff, but we do not have a
dependable cash flow yet. That is ok –
another challenge to rise to!
I am pleased to announce that The
Rocky Mountain Goat has decided to
take a different approach. We are working
with Leigh Jackson out of McBride.
She is a trained graphics designer and
has worked in this trade, as well as in
sales and marketing, for many years.
Laura and I are resolved to serve this
valley in the best manner possible.
We truly believe that a quality free
paper is what this valley needs. We are
well aware that we will not be making
money beyond cots for a while, but
this is ok because we are so happy to
be here, and we do not want to leave
any time soon. And so, we are ready for
I am currently working on a debit/
credit machine to make payment easier,
and my house is starting to resemble a
full-time office by the day. It is so exciting,
and I have never had so much fun
writing 2,000 words a week. I can only
imagine what kind of fun we will have
now that I have completed my summer
job. It will be nice not having to try and
balance two full-time jobs.
Thank you all for the support and
enthusiasm. Thank you to everyone
who has signed the petition to expedite
our consideration for government ads,
a true make-it-or-break-it clientele for
any paper. And so”¦our little experiment
is starting to take shape. It just
makes sense. A newspaper owned by
local journalists who care deeply about
the product they distribute, and the
town they live in. No overhead scraping
cream off the top. No absentee passive
share holders demanding returns. No
conglomerate branching out, spreading
out their liabilities in order to exploit
short-term booms. Just two journalists
who own and run their own paper. It
almost sounds too good to be true, yet
here we are, sleep deprived, and still
excited to wake up at 7:30 a.m. to greet
the incoming Greyhound bus carrying
this week’s issue.
But why? I get asked this question
often. Maybe it is simply the fact that I
saw a model that worked other places,
and I thought that it could do some
good here too. We have so many amazing
individuals with amazing stories to
tell in this valley. We have readers who
do not live here and who have absolutely
no attachments here tell us so.
As one Prince George resident commented
to me “sometimes the Robson
Valley seems like it is the most interesting
place to live in the world.” I was in
Jasper on Sunday, and what sight did I
see? Three tourists reading our paper
in the information center! It just makes
sense. If it is free, EVERYBODY reads
it. So do you care to go for this ride
with us?
Joseph Nusse