Foster: Giving thanks, one year in

Regan Foster

Regan Foster

The holidays are once again upon us. I love this time of year: the general energy, the spirit, the traditions, the festivities, the food and, above all, the overall atmosphere of comfort and joy. For some reason, it all turns me into a marshmallow — and, for the record, that’s not strictly because of the fudge. (And yes, there’s more on that in December’s Dining on a Dime.)

This year, the holidays seem particularly poignant. With this edition we took the chance to look back on, well, let’s call it an eventful 2019, and to marvel at all that has happened in the Express’ first year of publication.

As wild as it seems, almost exactly one year ago, we put out our first print edition. Not really an edition, come to think of it, but a prototype … a tease of what your Southeast Express could grow to be. That little, eight-page publication included a touch of news, a dash of opinion — and a whole lot of hope that you would embrace our humble paper.

Our hopes have been more than met, and in the spirit of the season, I would like to take this chance to express my profound gratitude to each of you — our readers, partners and supporters — for making that happen.

As readers, you’ve opened your hearts, your homes, your histories to the paper’s small-but-mighty team. You’ve written us letters, you’ve shared opinions, you’ve sent us photos. You’ve emailed, called, sat down and chatted with us. You took surveys, both online and in person, and let us know what we were doing well and, more importantly, what we could do better.

You helped spread the gospel of our community newspaper at events, in your personal circles and throughout your social networks. You shared our vision of creating a marketplace of ideas for Southeast Colorado Springs, and you made the paper even better.

For all of this and more, I am grateful for you, our readers, today and every day.

The simple fact is that nothing great can possibly happen in a vacuum. From story source to distribution, it takes an entire community to create an exceptional local news product.

Likewise, I am so thankful to the wonderful underwriters who have supported us every step of the way. The simple fact is, without the fiscal support of our advertisers we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.

It takes a huge leap of faith for an organization to ante up and agree to help launch a newspaper — especially now, in an era of so-called “fake news,” endless digital competition and open hostility toward media. So to the amazing groups that saw the potential one year ago and still do today, you have my sincere appreciation.

And finally, I would like to raise a toast to the amazing colleagues who helped me survive this first year.

From the get-go, I have had the support of a talented cadre of designers, copy editors, newsroom cohorts, account representatives, web gurus, executive leadership, senior advisors and a wunderkind college intern. Each of these individuals has played a critical role in getting the “Express train” not just out of the station but rolling full-bore into the future.

Now, as we race toward 2020, I’m grateful to add to that list some tremendously gifted reporters who bring unique voices and strengths to the paper. You have already had the chance to read some of their works in the past few months, and I’m delighted to say you will be seeing a lot more of them in 2020. This cadre of talent means we will be stepping up our coverage game, both in print and online, and increasing our offerings for the better.

That’s not a task my team or I take lightly, but it’s one we are embracing with open arms. Because you, Southeast Colorado Springs, demanded it, and because you inspire and challenge us every day.

Look, the simple fact is nothing great can possibly happen in a vacuum. From story source to distribution, it takes an entire community to create an exceptional local news product.

So happy holidays, Southeast, and thank you for being the heart of our efforts during a tremendous first year. I’m excited to see what 2020 has in store.

Contact Southeast Express Editor and General Manager Regan Foster at (719) 578-2802 or regan.foster@southeastexpress.org

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