Ark Valley Voice went live a year ago this week. Although we began loading articles in January 2018, we waited until we had the proper media liability insurance before we took our digital news media platform live. At the time we compared our initial effort to the societal role of change-makers; those who don’t see the world as it is, but as what it can be, and strike out in new directions.
There were probably those who assumed we might not make it past the first few months. As if there is an expiration date on truth, or that there is an overwhelming preponderance of free-to-the-public actual news in Chaffee County. Or that the willingness to simply report the facts and let you readers decide what you think about those facts, those issues, those candidates, is common.
Nearly 1,100 articles later – we’re moving into year two. We publish five days per week and often six. When a fire, an avalanche, an emergency occurs, our digital format gives us the platform to quickly get the news to you. We connect second-home owners here with the life of this place and bring a national viewpoint home to the Arkansas Valley.
We’ve looked at controversial subjects, we’ve asked tough questions, we’ve tried to do our part to improve the caliber of news coverage in the valley. From a philosophical standpoint, and as a new news media, our approach has been substance versus style: meaning that substance – timeliness, relevancy and factual accuracy – come first. We’re a news platform, not a magazine and not the Mona Lisa. Style is secondary – not that we don’t want to improve and catch every dangling preposition, every misplaced comma and extra ‘t’ – we absolutely do. But perfection is a goal that even the New York Times can not meet, as no less than Newseum Chief Operating Officer Gene Policinski points out:
So – we’ve had our detractors and our supporters. As we move into year two we’ve steadily added readers. We’ve added writers. We’re adding coverage categories. We hope we’ll add more advertisers. With so many coming to us to read a story here, add a comment there, we definitely want visitors to become (free) member/users, who can be counted in our (free) subscription base.
We are here with gratitude to our readers; who encourage us and tell us where to improve. Who forward story ideas and share our storylines on social media. Who ask questions and encourage us to seek truth and report it. Thank you.
Journalism is a team effort as well as a solitary task. Team members have joined, other team members have moved on. What we know absolutely is that the current team of Ark Valley Voice journalists is talented, fearless, and passionate in our shared belief that “truth should have a voice.”