With this issue, The Northern Light begins its 23rd year of publishing. While this milestone doesn’t have the same ring to it as a 25th or 50th anniversary, in these days of Facebook, Google and so-called “fake news,” it’s still an accomplishment worth noting for an independent, small-town community weekly newspaper.
The troubles facing the newspaper business are well-known and have been for some time. What hasn’t generally been covered as well has been the continued strength of small market newspapers like The Northern Light. Although owning a small newspaper is hardly the way to riches in a financial sense, it is a fulfilling pursuit and calling. While public distrust of the media is widespread, a recent study by the American Press Institute and Associated Press showed a somewhat more complex picture. “Even at a time of growing distrust in the media generally, people can find news sources they think are accurate, fair, moral, transparent about mistakes, and trustworthy,” the report found.
Our goal from the beginning has been to be a trusted source of news and information about our community that is useful and of interest to our readers. We aim to continue working hard to do so.
Without a local newspaper, it’s difficult for a community to achieve its full potential. Where do people turn to when they want to learn what the city council is up to or how the goal of getting a new library on the bay is coming along? How is the new construction at the school proceeding or what news is there about extending sewer lines out to that new development? Without a local newspaper, these questions and many others are difficult to answer. Our reporters attend local meetings so you don’t have to.
And just like the newspaper has to be a source of support for the community, the community has to be a support for the newspaper. At great expense, The Northern Light is delivered by the U.S. Postal Service to all homes in the 98230 zip code. Copies are also placed in retailers and other businesses in Blaine, Birch Bay, Custer, Ferndale and Bellingham, making a total of 10,500 copies delivered each week to homes and businesses. It is only through the support of our advertisers that this is possible. By advertising in The Northern Light, advertisers are helping support the community. And, by supporting our advertisers, readers are not only helping those businesses, they are helping the community remain a community.
All of us here at The Northern Light appreciate the patronage of our readers and advertisers and hope to do so for many more years to come. We have a talented and dedicated staff of writers, designers and sales professionals who make The Northern Light possible every week. This amazing team also produces the All Point Bulletin newspaper, the Mount Baker Experience quarterly, Waterside summer guide, Pacific Coast Weddings magazine, and regional maps.
Patrick Grubb, publisher of The Northern Light