The Luther Register is about to have a birthday. It’s first one.
I know this for a couple of reasons.
One is because I’m a sentimental sort. This online venture (definition of venture: a business enterprise involving considerable risk) has been my baby. I’ve stayed up late with it, fed it, bragged about it and wondered what I ever did without it. And it has grown, teethed and skipped a few naps! Through stumbles, controversies, triumphs and tragedies – we’ve been covering “news for our town” for almost a year.
We’ve offered 300 stories (three hundred!), with help from The Lion Reporter Sydney Scheer! I’ve irritated a few people (not my favorite thing to do, honestly), and learned so much. From how to find a parking spot at the court house (and how to follow a case on OSCN), how to read a school board agenda, and how to research property rights and eminent domain. There’s also been some internal pep talks about how to ask for/demand information that belongs to the public, how to make a difficult call, and how to bide my time for greater goals instead of picking fights on this or that. The greater goal: building professional healthy relationships with leaders and residents to objectively provide an online news presence for our town. Maybe someday there’ll be a printed one too – or a special edition now and then.
There’s also been some work to learn how to run this website, add new tools and remember to make it look pretty on a mobile phone or desktop computer. Something about teaching old dogs new tricks applies here. Still learning. And there’s the issue of recalibrating my reporting chops after not thinking like a journalist for a few years – what I remember is, I love it.
The biggest blessing of the year: making new friends. I’ve heard about dreams and heartaches and wishes and hopes and history. Not only personal stories, but stories from our Town. From Luther. To all the subscribers, to everyone who “like” us on Facebook or Twitter. Thank you. Keep telling me your stories.
The other reason I know The Luther Register’s anniversary is coming is because I’m getting reminders about paying various fees and subscriptions: the website, the host/server, the LLC certificate. It’s $100 here and $100 there.
And that reminds me, this “venture” started as a business enterprise that would involve some risk. The news and community we’ve built is growing. The business, not so much. Yes, I thought I’d pound the pavement hitting up Luther businesses big and small for ads and sponsorships (we can do that, ya know, call me). But there’s usually a story to chase, some research to do, or honestly my attention gets drawn to my other job(s), my kids, hubby or cooking dinner. Just kidding on the dinner, let’s just say my wonderful daughter has stepped it up in the kitchen. And there’s been a lot of cereal.
So, what I’d really like to do is have YOU support us. Some of you already do, faithfully and generously. (Thank you). If you want news for your town – from the school board, to the sports teams, and school activities, to the parades, Town government, politics and turnpikes. And everyone’s favorite, interesting stories about your neighbors, would you chip in?
Do you listen to and support non-commercial radio like KLOVE or NPR. How about PBS?
I promise I’ll try not to do a pledge drive.
If you value the content, help support it by whatever you can afford. A one-time gift, a monthly gift, a big time sponsorship getting your logo and link on our website … whatever it’s worth to you.
And returns – you get returns on your investment.
Some of the ROI: localized news – information that affects you closest to home; a loyal and local following; building community; ground floor support on a growing news model. It’s a thing!
A few needs:
- Subscription renewals for the website.
- An external microphone to help with our Periscope broadcasts of meetings.
- Payment for The Lion Reporter. She works hard and sacrifices sleep to bring us Lion Football stories.
- Maybe a sports camera lens!
- A salary! I’d take it.
How to give.
There’s a handy PayPal button to the right of the main page or at the bottom page of the mobile site. (As a matter of fact, I can NOT figure out how to put the PayPal button right here too. See what I’m working with here? ME!)
Or mail it to me: Dawn Shelton, PO Box 311, Luther, OK 73054
Let’s keep going. I’m fired up for Year Two of Luther Register, officially in November.
We’ll have some more news, a few more Meet & Greets, and we’ll learn and grow together.