My Thoughts On 2017 At Sullivan Independent News
By James B. Bartle
It’s been a very busy year in many ways here at the Sullivan Independent News as we accomplished many goals set forth at the start of the year and have many others ahead in 2018.
During 2017, we moved forward with opening a new publication in the city of New Haven. City officials and business leaders in this community longed for a community newspaper since the one that had been there for several years closed some three years ago. Thanks to the outpouring of support, with over 400 subscribers before we printed the first issue, we were able to launch this publication. Since then we’ve received many positive comments and look forward to building this publication, which is led by our New Haven Independent News Editor Craig Montgomery and sales by Mark Hilse and Montgomery.
There is a lot of work ahead and it’s been something amazing to see what happens in a community that does not have a newspaper and then the satisfaction on faces when a newspaper returns to a very loyal and friendly community.
This year also saw the launching of two new website versions of both publications along with the E-Edition of both newspapers. For years, smaller community newspapers were challenged with the development of a new website with the features that included E-Editions. We were able to accomplish this in the summer of 2017 through many countless hours of work by our staff and the dedicated folks at E-type.
We have received many compliments on the E-Edition and website and are excited for 2018 with these fine sites up and running. If you haven’t had the chance to check them out go to www.mysullivannews.com or www.mynewhavennews.net.
Along with these improvements to the websites, our subscribers can now simply pay for their subscriptions online at either website, by phone or through the mail.
We also saw tremendous growth in our Sullivan Independent News Facebook page for a community our size in a region our size. We are around 12,700 followers and look to increase that number in 2018.
In the Fall of 2017 we were able to purchase The Hoot Owl Copy Shop from Dan and Marilyn McWhorter. This has been a very busy part of the year as our staff not only learned to produce a second publication, two new web sites, and an E-edition, but also everything there is to know about the copy shop business.
We were very thankful to the McWhorters for working with us and helping to train our staff during the transition and we hope to only get better with our customers as we provide copying, faxes, scans, notary services, bindery and blue print copies.
What does 2018 hold for Sullivan and New Haven Independent News?
Well, I don’t believe we will have as many new efforts being launched as we saw in 2017, but I cannot emphasize the importance of our residents in all the communities we serve picking up a copy of the Independent News from our news racks or better yet purchasing a subscription and having it delivered to your home or accessed from your home computer, laptop, tablet or any other electronic device.
In the coming weeks you will see an advertisement that we will be running that will feature our logo at the top of the page with the simple question, “What would Sullivan’s front page news look like without the Sullivan Independent News. You will then find the page completely blank with our address, phone and email at the bottom saying, “Subscribe Today.”
This idea came from the Minnesota Press Association, which ran something similar to this to highlight that if their print publication was not in their communities there would not be any front page news, no news print at all, thus a blank front page.
I really enjoy the ability to provide our readers with breaking news stories on our Facebook page and our website, but what bothers me is one positive comment I read on our Facebook page earlier in 2017.
“I love this newspaper, they provide us with our news for free.”
Um sorry, news isn’t free! We are able to provide these breaking news stories through sponsorship from our advertisers and through the success of our print publication that allows us to provide these stories to you. If there is no print publication of the Sullivan Independent News or New Haven Independent News, we would not have a Facebook page providing you news as it happens, simple as that.
So, our team looks forward to serving you in 2018, I simply ask that you take out a subscription, if you see our advertisers in print and through our online media, tell them thank-you for supporting print media.
We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and wonderful New Year! See you in 2018!