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Who Cares About The Porch Press?

By Robert M. Sarwark

I don’t mean the question rhetorically. Or ironically. Seriously: Who cares about The Porch Press?

For one, I hope that you do, of course, since you happen to be reading it right now. And even if you’re not actually reading it and these pages are instead being used to, say, line a small, furry creature’s cage or to wrap up your fish and chips (admittedly a very British image inspired by an Elvis Costello song but also something you could find in East Atlanta Village), at least it’s still serving a purpose, right?

Since I started as Grant Park editor in 2018, several local folks have expressed their appreciation for what this free community newspaper provides. These benefits include the minutes and other relevant information from our area’s three neighborhood associations, our normally robust (pre-pandemic) events calendar, as well as great historical content from Henry Bryant. Personally, I’ve also really enjoyed the folksy neighborhood tales by Grant Park’s very own Tom McGowan.

And then there’s the opportunity for all NPU-W residents to get their own articles into print. Honestly, where else can you see a three- to four-week turnaround on having your thoughts and observations committed to thousands of copies of a publication that actual people will very likely read? I’ll wait. (Okay, NextDoor or Facebook maybe, but only if you’re “lucky” and go viral. But who wants all that drama?)

Not everyone is a Porch Press super-fan, as I understand it. One memory comes to mind here. Not long ago before the pandemic, I approached a pair of community leaders after their monthly meeting. My goal was to introduce myself and invite them to contribute anything they’d like to see included in the paper. But when I explained that I was with The Porch Press, I got a markedly tepid response. “Oh, it’s that free mailer,” one said, smirking to the other. I took this as a pass.

All right, fine. But maybe I was hasty and even wrong to assume they weren’t loyal patrons like you, dear Reader. In the end I’m just glad to know that they, just like you, have the options of being informed on neighborhood news and contributing these pages to their local recycling initiatives.

In conclusion, I sincerely hope you enjoy what it is that we try to do with this modest publication, now in its fourth decade of existence. I assure you that this is not the kind of resource, especially under the current media landscape, that all or even most folks have in their community, much less for free.

I encourage any and all in NPU-W, including area businesses, to reach out to The Porch Press and offer their own locally relevant content for us to consider for publication. See your name in print and have a marvelous entry for the ol’ family scrapbook! I particularly encourage young and/or aspiring journalists to submit their work, especially if building up a portfolio for a course and/or program applications. And if you really like us, consider running an ad, making a donation, or even volunteering in some capacity.Check our contact information and reach out. Let us know what we can do to make this community paper a better resource for you. Or even just to confirm that you caught my Elvis Costello reference. And to all you small, furry creatures currently snuggled up herein: Sweet apple cider! You can read?!

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