Wow! What an amazing five months it has been. There has been no lack of support for our new newspaper and both Laura and I appreciate this greatly. All in all, we are on a good course to becoming well-established both as your source for credible and professional journalistic coverage, as well as a locally owned and operated business through which local commerce can promote itself. We are getting more and more interest every week for public involvement. Letters are starting to come in regularly. People are commenting more and more on our stories. Local and provincial politicians and business leaders are starting to quote our paper and its content, which indicates we are on the mark and covering stories which are relevant to you, our Robson Valley reader base. It was one of our main missions to ensure that the entire valley got equal coverage and we definitely hope to keep this up in the future.
It is interesting how many comments we get about our name. So far, none have been negative. It is certainly not easily forgettable, and this was one of the reasons why Laura and I settled on it last spring. Our newspaper is starting to show up high on the list of Google searches and our website has attracted a regular following of mainly out-of-town readers, many former residents.
We have reached a point where we are going to change our marketing strategy. I was worried when we first started this paper that there would not be enough advertising revenue to remain free. While there certainly is during the summer months, the winter is much slower. As such, we are going to start charging for our paper effective next week. Our mail subscriptions for anybody residing between Blue River, Mt. Robson and Dome Creek costs $62.50 plus HST ($70). Our weekly print will also be available at local stores for newsstand prices. We will also be adjusting our ad rates accordingly. In a way it is unfortunate that we will not be able to throw our work out to the world like we used to. It certainly has been fun crashing onto the scene and watching people read and comment on our work. But the print world is entrenched. Sadly, the business side of a newspaper is critical, and good journalism on its own does not pay the bills. In an effort to help secure our business we have decided to broaden our income base.
We certainly have made inroads on government ads, but the system is set up to make it difficult to make it through the first year. Government advertisers are leary of newer publications. We have been told that we must simply exists a year. June 2011 is now our target. Membership in the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspaper Association is critical, and this also requires one year of existence. We have a dream. We are going to continue to grow and become a new model for community newspapers: a newspaper owned and operated by professional journalists and the people who work there. Our home base is an infectious buzz of youth and hope. We have even more young journalists already on the way to join our team. With your support, we will help turn this valley into an amazing, dynamic center where the old interacts with the young, where old ideas adapt into new ideas. Where we can be proud of our past, without hanging onto it to the detriment of the future. While the buzz and adrenaline of the summer have been rewarding enough to plough through to where we are, we are looking forward to settling down, becoming more established, and adopting a much more sustainable pace. We look forward to serving you well into the future.
Joseph Nusse, Publisher/Co-owner