Six years ago — on Oct. 1, 2009– I pushed the “Publish” button and My Edmonds News was born.
My first story was encouraging registrations for the 5K Street Strut — a fundraiser for Edmonds School District schools. That race is now known as the Celebrate Schools 5K and takes place this Saturday Oct. 3, at Alderwood Mall. Other hot topics at the time: the possible merger of the Edmonds Fire Department with Snohomish County Fire District 1, coverage of local city council races, and the council’s decision to allow single-family homes to have up to three chickens.
The past six years have been an adventure, to say the least. Trying to make “a go” of online community news is both a financial and logistical challenge. Like all small business owners, I work long hours and don’t ever really take a completely “unplugged” vacation. Yet, I’ve never had more fun or felt more fulfilled in my work. Writing about the community I’ve called home for the past 30 years is not a job, it’s a passion. And it is truly a privilege to provide a platform for news and opinion sharing — all while trying to ensure that everyone in Edmonds has a voice in the issues that matter.
I also work with an incredible group of talented people who help put together the best product we can each day — reporting on stories, taking photos and video, writing advertising copy, thinking up new marketing and promotional ideas. They share my passion for covering our community and I am proud of our collective efforts.
I’ve said this before, but it’s a testament to our team’s collective hard work that we are still here after six years. Online journalism has seen significant churn both locally and nationally, and Edmonds is no exception. From Edmonds Patch to Edmonds KOMO, the corporations that owned these entities decided to pull the plug when it was clear that it’s really HARD to make money publishing online news.
And, I’m proud we have expanded our reach to include in our publications family online news sites in Mountlake Terrace (MLTnews, acquired in 2012) and Lynnwood (Lynnwood Today, acquired in 2013), forming the My Neighborhood News Network. I certainly didn’t intend to expand beyond Edmonds when I started six years ago, but when the publishers of those websites came to me and said they could no longer keep publishing, I realized that those communities would have NO local news if those online sites folded. The former Enterprise newspapers (known as the weekly Herald) had shut down. Communities without community news? Unthinkable!
So now, thanks to MLTnews and Lynnwood Today editor David Pan, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace council meetings are covered. So are school board meetings. And breaking news. And business openings. And myriad other stories that otherwise wouldn’t be told.
Yet, as I’ve said before, we continue to face challenges that threaten our long-term sustainability. Everyone expects that online information should be free — there seems to be a disconnect that there are costs associated with gathering that information and delivering it to your favorite website.
So I will close with my usual reminder: I value all the support our community has provided, from our wonderful advertisers to our regular subscribers. Speaking of which, we warmly welcome volunteer subscriptions of any amount — and we make it easy at this link. You can donate once, or you can sign up for a weekly, monthly or annual subscription You can set up an online donation or mail a check.
My intention is to celebrate many more My Edmonds News birthdays, but I need your help.
Until next time
Teresa Wippel, publisher