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It's election day for the name of this publication

Cast your vote! May the best name win.

Hi all!

It’s Tom Hardesty, editor of our soon-to-launch Stow newsletter.

After soliciting suggestions for what to call this publication and getting some great candidates, we have narrowed them down to two finalists. This was a difficult challenge. Our publication will be covering three communities — Stow, Munroe Falls and Silver Lake — and one school district. We wanted something that provided a sense of place and purpose to our endeavor.

Of the options you gave, we liked these two best:

  • The Bullhorn

  • Stow Spotlight

The Bullhorn is a play on Bulldog and suggests the idea of amplifying your voices. Stow Spotlight emphasizes the anchor city in our coverage area and indicates we will be shining the light squarely on our community and the issues we care about.

So, which do you like for the name of your publication? It’s your call. Most votes wins!

Now let’s talk about what you will see in our coverage

Much of that is up to you as well.

Last week, we asked: What issues are important to you? What should we be writing about? And as with our name survey, we got some excellent, thoughtful feedback. It’s clear you feel strongly about what you want — and don’t want — in your newsletter.

Here’s a look at some of your responses:

  • School news (including Bulldog sports). Judging from the responses, the school system is something that is near and dear to your hearts — which shows every time a levy comes up and passes with overwhelming support. Having lived in Stow the past 22 years, I know firsthand that the people in this school district put kids first and the quality of their education is of utmost importance. So these responses didn’t surprise me in the least.

  • Local government news (including council meetings, etc.). This was a given. The primary purpose of the newsletter is to connect you with your community, and there is no better way to do it than to report on the latest goings-on in Stow, Munroe Falls and Silver Lake.

  • Uplifting stories. These aren’t reported often enough in this day and age. There is certainly a lot of good being done out there, and we would like to report it when it happens. News doesn’t have to mean bad news.

  • Police blotter. This is a common element in local newspapers and certainly draws eyeballs and clicks. At the same time, these lists of petty criminal charges offer an inaccurate portrayal of the quality of life there, and many of these charges are dismissed. One responder specifically requested — strongly — that we refrain from publishing blotters. We agree. Over at The Portager, we don’t cover crime unless it’s a major story that deeply affects the community.

  • Politics. Yes, we will have campaign/election coverage. No, we won’t fan the flames of division until we’re all at each other’s throats. We’re trying to build community, not destroy it. We have more in common than we realize, especially on local issues.

  • Arts and entertainment. Culture is an important part of the fabric of the community, so it will be important to us.

Obviously, all of this coverage won’t just magically appear. The level of your support in the form of subscriptions and advertising will determine the extent of our coverage. Luckily, we operate far more efficiently than most news organizations. But to fire on all cylinders we’ll need something like $9,000/month in revenue at least (my salary, freelancers, tech fees and overhead, marketing, etc.). We can easily reach that with only a few hundred paid subscribers and a handful of committed sponsors. As I mentioned before, we’ll make a big announcement about this later on when we launch our subscription drive.

Can’t afford to pay anything? Don’t worry! We believe local news should be accessible to everyone, no matter what. There will be a way to read for free.

OK, enough money talk. Remember, if you have a news tip or a press release from your organization or company, send it my way! We’re already starting to get some. If you see it, hear about it or are wondering about it, let us know. Keep ’em coming!

And as always, please share this link with everyone you know:

Till next week!