By: Douglas Heizer
I am very happy this week – even though I’ve been feeling physically ill with a cold or allergies.
What makes me happy is the fact that the Boca Raton Tribune has published its 100th edition. You are holding it in your hands – or looking at it on a viewing screen.
First, I want to thank everyone who has helped to keep the paper publishing – the writers, layout people, student interns, staff writers, columnists, the press people and especially the readers who keep going back week after week for the next edition. I thank them for their suggestions, good and bad. I listen to them and, all together, we at the Tribune take their comments to heart.
A lot of memories are going through my mind, particularly of the early days when most people didn’t know what the Boca Raton Tribune was. I remember riding up to the office in the elevator with Managing Editor Dale King. We were discussing one person’s comment that the Tribune was nothing but a childish publication that was just an outlet for former Boca Raton News employees and the Rotary Club.
Clearly, we are more than that – anyone in the community knows that. We have thousands of regular readers and nearly 1,300 friends on Facebook.
It has not always been easy to keep the paper going. We started in early 2010 when one of the nation’s worst economic disasters was in full mode. But the Boca News had gone out of business only a few months earlier – after nearly 60 years of publication. And we had to move quickly to capture those readers while their desire for a hometown newspaper was still vital.
Early on, people thought we were a reincarnation of the Boca News. Some even complained to us about the Boca Raton News management – something we have absolutely no connection to.
Rather than rehash the past, we decided to look to the future. What began as the Boca Raton Tribune website became an every-other-week publication in early 2010, and then switched to weekly in October 2010. We just recently transformed our sister website, the Delray Beach Tribune, into its own print publication. And we continue to work on our other sister website, the Coral Springs Tribune, with hopes of taking that to the streets – in print, that is – in the near future.
We have undergone several changes of face in the past couple of years. And this week, we are trying a larger size and a new set of graphics which we hope will please our viewers and readers. Not only do we want to keep the Boca Raton Tribune and its news content fresh, we want to keep the look of the paper modern and up to date. Naturally, we want to know what you think about the changes.
We have the utmost respect for the communities we cover. Boca Raton has been our home for more than two years. But we also call Delray Beach ours – and Coral Springs is also part of our network.
Unlike some other newspapers, we listen to people. That’s part of a newspaper’s job of informing and reacting. We know that newspaper readership is down and are confronted every day with the reality that other media seem to be getting an edge on print. We have adapted to that, with a website that is always changing; with an online copy of the newspaper that can be pulled up and flipped through like a hold-in-your-hand paper. We are not dependent on print, but we understand the need for it – and will continue to provide it.
We know there are competitors out there, but we feel we have a product that’s unique, and is a first-read in Boca, Delray and Coral Springs homes.
We have come a long way, dear friends. We take what we have learned and will continue to serve our communities the best way we can.