I just finished the annual budget for Idyllwild House Publishing Co. Ltd. last Friday, Jack and I had our shareholders’ and directors’ meetings Saturday, and I feel a tremendous pressure off my back so I can relax tomorrow, the Fourth of July.
Because of our readers and those who see the benefit of advertising in our publications, we are finally in the black after 10 years. That is a tremendously good feeling to know that this business has a future.
But even with that good feeling, I would be remiss not to say how saddened we are here at the Town Crier over the murders of five newspaper employees at The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. All of us in journalism are shaken by this story. Our hearts are broken by this news.
We all know someone who has a grudge against us.Fortunately, most of those people never take such an action as that man did in Annapolis.
But, we did have a man like that last year who threatened one of our reporters with bodily harm. The man was arrested and charged, then given a misdemeanor sentence that required an anger management course. Apparently, that did no good because he took to venting his anger online.
What we do in this small town that is more valuable than anything else we do is hold those in government posts accountable to the people they serve. We report on other important issues that affect your lives, too, such as wildfires, traffic collisions and weather events.
Does that make us “the enemy of the people?” No, it doesn’t. We who work here are good people who contribute to this community both here at work and outside of work. We, and those journalists in Annapolis, don’t deserve to be called “the enemy of the people.”
And so many of you have made that clear to us through your support of this past nearly one year of Memberships.
I just stopped this column to take a call from a man in Redondo Beach whose subscription just ran out and who berated me for our Membership model that is keeping this newspaper here for the people of this community. Most of you see the value of the paper being here — even if you spend less for it at the store or pick it up for free at the Help Center.
Tim Grobaty, who writes for the Long Beach Post, recently wrote an opinion piece for PBS in which he pointed out the importance of community newspapers: “To add to the woes is the fact that many politicians see the media as overzealous watchdogs. And they’re right to think so; their fear is warranted, because that’s what the small newspapers do so well: Keep a steady eye on the opportunistic city government, the shady school board, the double-dipping water commissioner. And there’s a direct relationship between a town’s size and its paper: The smaller the city, the more important its paper is to the community.”
That is also true here and was also true in Annapolis. Small-town newspaper journalists and employees don’t get paid much. It is hard work. But we do this because we love it. When I write this column, when our reporters write their stories, they write to you, the reader. We serve you, in a sense. We want you to be informed about what affects you.
Becky Clark, Editor