One year ago tomorrow, on the first Tuesday morning of 2021, we published the first edition on The Raincross Gazette to 89 subscribers. We launched with the “hope to grow into a publication that you not only trust, but count on to keep you informed and equipped to engage locally.” We have much work to do to become the publication you trust and count on, but one year later we have published 183 stories about Riverside. We have made mistakes, but we’ve also made an impact and are continuing to demonstrate our relentless commitment to that ambition.
As we launch into our second year, I have three pieces of exciting news to share with you about the future of The Raincross Gazette.
- We hired a Managing Editor. It will come as no surprise to many of you that we could use an actual journalist at the helm of our newsroom. Over the last several months we’ve transitioned from a single writer to a team of freelance reporters which has greatly improved our reporting, but we can do better. Danyella Wilder, a name you may have come to recognize attached to many of our recent stories, is joining our newsroom to lead it. Danyella is a Riversider with a B.A. in Journalism from California Baptist University and a M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University; we are thrilled to have her join the team to help us speed up and shape up our publishing.
- We are moving online. We launched as an “email only” newspaper because it was the simplest way to start publishing and test Riversiders’ interest in paying for local news. While we haven’t grown as quickly as I had hoped, our experiment has been a success so we’re planting our flag in the ground. In November we signed a contract with a publishing platform designed for startup, digitally native newsrooms like ours. We will be launching a brand new raincrossgazette.com on February 1 with a complete archive of all our stories and the ability to share them directly on social media platforms. I expect this will make it easier for you to share our stories with your neighbors and positions our team to be able to add audio and video content as soon as we are able.
- We are opening up our schedule. As we migrate our newsroom out of just your inboxes to online we are freed up from only publishing on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. In February, we will begin publishing stories as soon as they are ready, breaking news as soon as we can, and publishing more content than you would want to read in a single email. For those of you who want it, we will still have an option for you to get our stories directly in your inbox.
I hope these updates speak to the future of The Raincross Gazette and our commitment to Riverside and this work. We believe in Riverside.
None of this would be possible without your support as our subscribers. Thank you, and Happy New Year.