The Gleaner

Here’s the good news…

I was fortunate enough to attend the Independent Newspaper Sustainability Summit in Austin, Texas last week on behalf of The Gleaner, and amongst the glut of information I soaked up, there was one drumbeat that came up again and again. There were some 500 attendees and dozens of speakers, and despite the range in sizes of operations being run by those present (from one-woman-shows right up to the New York Times itself), the word I kept hearing was “community.”

“Community” is the driving force that brings publications into being and keeps the passionate people behind them pushing forward – the desire to give voice to communities that have been left out by other publications; the dedication to providing information to communities that can’t find it elsewhere; and the gratitude to the community of which they are a part, with one speaker describing her unflagging work as “a love letter to the community that raised me.”

Networking was a big part of the event, of course, and as I chatted with other newspaper people and they heard that The Gleaner is set to celebrate its 160th anniversary next year, their eyes widened. The sheer depth of the community support we at The Gleaner are lucky enough to have is something we appreciate with every passing edition. We feel that steadfast devotion to the Valley radiating back at us when someone stops us in the IGA to give us a story lead, when a flurry of comments appears under our latest post on social media, and when a local business comes up in conversation accompanied by “Oh, yeah, I saw that in The Gleaner!”

The news that communities need to know isn’t always good news; in fact, sometimes, the most important news can be quite the opposite. Whatever kind of news there may be to report, it’s no secret to anyone in the Valley that our community is mighty… but to see that a whole industry is being propelled by this same heartfelt force across the continent and beyond is unequivocally a feel-good story. Chantal Hortop

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