Scottsdale Independent: Celebrating and connecting the people

Thomas Jefferson once said a great newspaper is nothing more than a community talking to itself.

Bret McKeand

Bret McKeand

We here at the Scottsdale Independent couldn’t agree more.

We think a great community such as Scottsdale deserves a great newspaper — a place where our citizens can share neighborhood news, discuss community issues and celebrate the accomplishments of those who make Scottsdale the great place to live, work and play.

The Scottsdale Independent wants to fill that role. We want to be that force that connects our community and celebrates our citizens.

It’s a lofty goal, no doubt, and we have a long way to go to reach a level that will do Scottsdale justice and make us all proud. But we’re nothing, if not ambitious here at the Independent, and we’re confident that with your help, we can give Scottsdale something it’s lacked for many years: A good, communitywide local newspaper.

***

The Independent is no stranger to local news, or Scottsdale for that matter. We’ve been publishing a weekly newspaper in Scottsdale for many years, and we still publish and distribute 15,000 print copies of the Scottsdale Independent each week to selected neighborhoods throughout the city.

When it comes to local news, we think we’re pretty good. In addition to the Scottsdale Independent, we also publish eight other weekly newspapers throughout the Valley, including the neighboring Town of Paradise Valley Independent.

All of our newspapers are intensely local. We specialize in local news and what I like to call “refrigerator journalism” (the news mom cuts out and sticks on the refrigerator!)
And although all our products are distinctly different in content, they do share a few common characteristics: They’re all devoted to the communities they serve and they each have tremendous participation from readers.

***

Scottsdale, however, presents a unique challenge to us — and to any other newspaper attempting to be a citywide news provider. The size and scope of the city makes it very difficult nowadays to develop a newspaper business model that can adequately serve the needs of readers and advertisers at an affordable rate.

Years ago, Scottsdale was served by one of this state’s greatest newspapers: The Scottsdale Progress. Many of our readers may remember the Progress. I certainly do. The Progress defined community journalism and set a well-respected standard for the rest of us to follow.

And whereas it’s not feasible for us to print and deliver a copy of the Scottsdale Independent to every home in the city every week, digital technology available to us today does give us the opportunity to create a local news platform that could, if done right, be that local “newspaper” Scottsdale residents so desperately need and desire.

***
Enter scottsdaleindependent.com.

If you haven’t visited our new site, I invite you to stop by and take a look. I’m anxious to hear your opinions on what you think and any suggestions you have on how we might improve it even further.

Unlike a printed newspaper, the web site allows us unlimited capacity for content. We’ll continue to print and distribute a limited amount of weekly newspapers (direct delivery to homes and through free distribution drops throughout the city), but the primary focus will be on scottsdaleindependent.com.

  • The site gives us an immediate opportunity to expand our coverage and serve a wider audience:
  • Like the newspaper, the site contains a variety of local news, events and “sections,” such as entertainment, business and education.
  • It also provides an opportunity for residents to express their opinions on issues of great concern to Scottsdale. As with our newspapers, we ask that all opinions be signed.
  • The site is easily accessible from any computer or mobile device. No one has to wait until the newspaper is delivered to get local Scottsdale news — just call up the site to find the latest news.
  • And, of course, for those who prefer the traditional model of a newspaper — the Scottsdale Independent is always available — FREE — at scottsdaleindependent.com. Visit the site, click on the newspaper and you can view every page, every ad, every classified!
  • I also encourage you to sign up for a free newsletter that we email out every Thursday. The weekly newsletter simply shares the latest headlines that appear on the site and in our newspaper. Again, no charge to sign up for the newsletter and the Independent never shares its subscriber information with any outside, third party.

***

But again, to become a great local newspaper (or to use 21st century terminology, a great local news “provider”), and to live up to Thomas Jefferson’s definition of a “community talking to itself,” we’ll need the help of our Scottsdale neighbors.

Send us your news, your photos, your opinions. It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. Indeed, the most popular items that appear in our publications or online generally revolve around classroom activities, civic club contributions and neighborhood fundraisers.

We hope you’ll visit scottsdaleindependent.com and join us on this adventure — this challenge to “celebrate and connect” this great community!

Bret McKeand is President of Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA and publisher of the Scottsdale Independent. He can be reached by calling 623-445-2867 or emailing azpublisher@newszap.com.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.