From the Volunteer Board of this Newspaper
A healthy and vibrant community is one that is informed and engaged. Since our founding in 1987, The Porch Press has operated by that guiding principle in our mission to serve the nine Southeast Atlanta communities that comprise Neighborhood Planning Unit W.
We do have a loyal readership and would not have done as well as we have these last 35 years without you. But we are a print publication, and we are not immune from the effects of changing consumer tastes in how readers want to consume news and connect with trusted sources of information. Print publications also have pressures from a changing landscape where advertisers have more options to engage with their target audiences. Many advertisers overwhelmingly have followed their target customers as they have migrated to digital platforms for news and entertainment. Finally, we are a small team of volunteer writers, editors, and contributors, often with full-time jobs, families, and other commitments.
We are not quite at a crisis, but we are limping along and need a burst of neighborly support and input. Please answer this simple question: What would you like to see covered that is not covered now?
We’ve received community feedback suggesting The Porch Press can and should be replaced by social media. They say we haven’t innovated as a publication on the technology front to keep up with the changes in the neighborhood. We, the board, agree.
We will seek ways to focus the content of future issues on the growing and more complex community our neighborhoods have become. Stories have been online since 2011 (see ThePorchPress.com) and we will continue to improve that service. But, we will not give up on the current distribution of 6,000 copies by bulk mail. We want every neighbor to be a reader and a patron of our advertisers. Please let us know if you’re an online person and want the digital-only subscription (this saves us 40 cents).
For 35 years The Porch Press has helped shape the neighborhoods through information. It helped people looking for a home to find our neighborhoods and highlighted the opportunities to participate in our community life. It is paid for by local businesses who want your business. It is produced by a few dedicated neighbor volunteers.
We want to do more but it will take more volunteer effort.
- Leadership: SAND has a current opportunity to recommend a new board member. We thank Fred Smith, who is leaving the board, for his many years of service. There are lots of tasks that need new volunteers.
- Suggestions for content: We would like the paper to be more journalistic. That means getting at the “why” of issues that are important to readers and our communities. Do you have questions about the booming development around us, changes in the zoning codes, education, safety, affordable housing, or the actions of elected officials? Maybe you could write a letter to the editor that would spice up community discussion.
- Writers: We are looking for regular correspondents’ updates on the work of community institutions or introduce us to some of the unique, only-in-Southeast-Atlanta characters who work and live in our neighborhoods.
We are ready to change, but The Porch Press needs your time, your ideas, your talents, and your energy to continue serving the residents of our neighborhoods.
Email your interest to Lyn Hillman, our Coordinating Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org), or call 404.819.1882. You can also call your neighborhood editor to give us your ideas to help us be the best local journalism in the City of Atlanta. See all of our contact information on page 3.