Happy Birthday to us!

It was one year ago that Abington News published its first article. And we could not be more pleased with how the last 365 days have gone.

Except for the whole pandemic thing. That’s really stink, stank, stunk.

When envisioning this operation last spring, we hoped to provide some straight truth during a very scary, uncertain time. We wanted to patch the gaps left in our community fabric when the hedge fund owned news outlets decided Abington wasn’t worth covering anymore. And in return we hoped we would be embraced by the community.

A year later, we think we’ve accomplished those goals. We’ve worked hard to make sure factual information about how the pandemic was and is effecting Abington’s residents and businesses was made public. We’ve loved seeing how much you all enjoy those Abington slice-of-life articles, or features on Abington businesses. And nothing warms our ink black hearts better than when readers reach out to us with news tips, or include us in their outreach and promotional plans. Please keep it up!

Sure, there are things we can improve. God knows we could use a copy editor (special thanks to our eagle-eyed volunteer proofreaders for letting us know about typos). And although we’ve posted 286 articles in 365 days, frankly we could do more. (Its crazy how much news this little town produces!) High school athletics, in particular, have been short shrifted.

The challenge for the coming year is transitioning from a possibly temporary experiment, to something permanent and self-sustaining. Maintaining the same quality and quantity of coverage will be increasingly difficult as we emerge post-COVID, and our work and personal lives return to normal. We’re going to need to tap into the tremendous talents within the Abington community and help train a team of citizen journalists and photographers (Help wanted! Apply within!).

And while we’ve been happy to pay for Abington News’ start-up costs out of our own pockets in order to provide it free to the community, we are going to need to generate a few bucks at some point soon. The problem is that SpaceX has reinvented interplantary travel faster than the journalism industry has figured out a profitable business model for independently-owned local news outlets in the 21st century.

We’re looking at all sorts of options. A printed version with ads. A subscription-based digital model. Some combination of personal and corporate sponsorships. A public radio-style fundraising drive. One thing is certain: we will start to offer ad space on the AbingtonNews.org website in the coming weeks. Keep your eyes open for news about that soon.

But for today, we just want to say “Thank You!” Thank you to all of you who have read our articles, shared our posts, and supported our efforts.

Year One was great. Now we’re on to Year Two.

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