Over the last 60 days, our small team has been extremely busy, hard at work keeping journalism alive in Woodinville.
On June 1, we acquired the OutdoorsNW, an outdoors and recreation magazine that publishes across Washington, Oregon and Idaho. We welcomed a new competitor. We stepped in at the last minute to host a candidate forum for the Northshore School District School Board. And we published a new annual magazine titled Woodinville Magazine, which will hit newsstands next week and provide readers with 76 pages of high-gloss Woodinville content. All in a couple of months’ work.
But despite all the great things we’ve accomplished, there are still a few myths circulating throughout the community.
Myth No. 1: The Weekly is publishing as a free newspaper again. False. With the exception of The Seattle Times, The Weekly is the last surviving, legally adjudicated newspaper in Woodinville. Remember the Blue-Ribbon effect of the periodical mailing permit? We’re very proud of this accomplishment and without it, we would still be paying the United States Post Office more than we pay our reporters. We created local jobs that keep great journalists in Woodinville.
Myth No. 2: The Weekly is turning into a magazine. False. We are a weekly print newspaper and will remain a weekly print newspaper. However, with the recent success of Woodinville Magazine, we do intend to publish multiple issues in 2022. In addition, subscribers will begin receiving our OutdoorsNW Magazine as a special supplement in the fall and winter.
Myth No. 3: The Weekly closed its doors and ceased publishing. False. As subscribers, you know this not to be true. We haven’t missed an issue in over 44 years, and had we not pivoted to a subscription model in December 2019, the pandemic would have surely forced our closure.
Myth No. 4: The Weekly doesn’t reach as many readers as before. False. From the very beginning, we identified the changes in news-consumption habits as the pain point that our startup sought to solve. The mail-to-everyone approach in community journalism was in complete failure, so we flipped it. Rather than spending over $100,000 a year on postage, we reinvested those dollars into journalism jobs. And it worked. We now reach more readers in both print and digital than we previously had in our mail-it-everyone approach.
Our strategy is focused on the digital newspaper already in the pockets, purses, desktops, and fanny packs of our readers. It’s all about original local content circulated through weekly digital touchpoints and an award-winning print newspaper. It’s not about us telling readers what’s important; it’s about readers engaging with the things they find important in their lives. Our role is to connect these dots and support conversations around these issues.
The NSD school board candidate forum is a great example. We had over 50 voters attend the July 15 live event and 100+ voters watching the live stream on our Facebook page. But it didn’t end there. Despite the opening angle of our camera and 39 minutes of pre-event radomness, the forum video has since been streamed over 1,700 times and received more than 100 comments in the thread. And all this before the print newspaper has even published.
The next time you’re searching for Woodinville news, local school board information, city council updates or the next great place to eat, sip or shop remember, history publishes here – and always has.