The Issaquah Press and Sammamish Review have a new general manager and new editor. The Jan. 7 issues have full, front page pleas for people to voluntarily pay subscriptions. The whole thing smacks of dying newspapers.
This may well be true. The diminishing size of the papers and the sparse advertising were clear signs of struggling papers. But the full, front page pleas? I’ve never seen anything like it. And my first full time job, at age 19, was with a community paper, The Wheaton Daily Journal in Wheaton (IL). The paper no longer exists, given up long, long ago.
But I’ve been in journalism for most of my professional career. I started two international aviation magazines, sold them, and started an paywall/freewall aviation blog, which is my full time profession with its companion consulting business. Sammamish Comment is a past time, a community service, really, started because the Sammamish Review and, later, Sammamish Reporter really don’t do a very good job of covering Sammamish on critical issues. See here for details. Last year, The Comment had record readership.
Having successfully created three money-making publications, including one that is entirely on the Internet, I think I know a thing or two about what makes a successful news outlet.
It’s called giving readers something worth reading.