"Local reporters used to covering everything from hurricanes to high school sports are helping people keep up to date on stay-at-home orders and school openings as well as the latest on social justice issues and protests in their local communities.
In partnership with Google, the Local Media Association and Local Media Consortium—which together represent more than 5,000 news outlets in the U.S. and Canada—are launching the “Support Local News” campaign across a breadth of local outlets that includes media organizations of color. This effort will raise awareness of the difficulties facing local news providers across a diversity of communities, and encourage more advertising, subscriptions and donations to fund local newsrooms.
Local journalism at its best can make life better for everybody in the community it serves."
-To learn more about the National Initiative, click here: Google News Initiative
The need for Sylvania City & Township to have an online news media outlet became unmistakably clear in 2011, when the Sylvania weekly newspaper shocked the community by closing down operations after serving as the unequaled local news source for Sylvania, Ohio, for 120 years.
Sylvania News/Simply Sylvania picked up the baton soon after, and has been running strong with it ever since.
As 2020 winds down, plans for the coming year start with a moment of gratitude and a fond look at the past. (see photo galleries below of Sylvanians in the news since 2013)
A Toledo Blade article published July 2011 mirrored the sentiments of most Sylvanians that year with an interview of Pat Nowak, who, as the executive director of the Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce at the time, was lamenting the end of the Sylvania Herald and Sentinel's run.
“The Herald and newspapers like it filled an important niche. Small town papers are important for the local community,” Ms. Nowak said.
The Sylvania Herald had stated that it had closed down due to its inability to sustain the operation with ad revenue.
The driving force behind Sylvania News/Simply Sylvania always kept that fact in the forefront as it began publishing news and championing local businesses and non-profits while establishing an online presence that would serve the needs of all Sylvanians.
Incredibly, Sylvania News/Simply Sylvania has been the #1 resource for local news & events since the fall of 2013...and there has never been a charge for ads, the publication is completely ad-free, and the subscription is free.
This would appear to be the winning combination, as Sylvania News quickly garnered over 20,000 followers and subscribers when it debuted, surpassing by far the number of 12,000 paying subscribers the Sylvania Herald reported that it had when it closed down.
Because Sylvania News never charges local business owners for publicizing their news & announcements, and never charges a subscription fee to residents, Sylvania's independent news outlet has instead relied solely on the generous spirit of the community to sustain operations.
This follows the growing trend around the country by journalists, artists, and media outlets to work hard, create a great product, and then allow consumers to be in charge by giving them the opportunity to support endeavors financially and pay what they want, when they want to.
Sylvania News/Simply Sylvania has always been governed by three main rules that have served to set it apart from other local publications:
1) It has a strict policy of only publishing news & events occurring in Sylvania City & Township;
2) It accepts no advertising and does not charge any fees for businesses and organizations to publish their announcements;
3) It does publish hard news and community alerts for Sylvania City & Township when necessary.
Sylvania News/Simply Sylvania is the only publication, free or paid subscription, that offers any one of these benefits to Sylvanians, and adheres to strict journalistic and professional standards. And even more important are the many local news stories about vital topics, including crime, that have only been found in Sylvania News, such as the recent articles on the increase in car break-ins, and the indoor shooting range petition to be debated in an upcoming City Council hearing, and the elevated chlorine levels in your drinking water.
Local businesses have received a great boost in sales and awareness from the free publicity and exposure over the years too, which is vital to the health of our local economy. This year alone Sylvanians were alerted to exciting news about the Classic Cafe, the Village Inn, Zane's Lebanese Grill, Sautter's Market, Kona Ice, and many, many more local favorites, only in the community newsletter published by Sylvania News/Simply Sylvania. Earlier this year, just two days after the shutdown was announced on March 22, the only complete list of Sylvania City & Township restaurants with pick up and delivery details, hours, and menu links, was created online and updated daily for many weeks, for the benefit of our local eateries during this difficult time. Up to 7,000 people per day were visiting that restaurant list here at SimplySylvania.org.
These are the kinds of stories, information, and resources that have been provided to the community by local independent journalism. Good news and heartwarming tales have been woven into the daily news too, often accompanied by good old Flashback Fun, to create an enjoyable, easy-to-read publication welcomed by everyone.
Sylvania News/Simply Sylvania aims to continue making a positive impact on the community in the coming year, and you are a vital part of that effort. A partnership with Sylvania Schools and the Library is creating new student internships for Sylvania's young people, new technology is expanding the readership base to include local senior living facilities, and the potential for greater inclusiveness is growing and unlimited. But, good journalism that serves the community well needs your participation.
This December, during the fundraising drive for the coming year, your community needs you to consider purchasing a sponsorship at the level that feels comfortable. Your local journalists, their families and children, have been hit hard this year by COVID too, and yet the local news, when the community needed it more than ever, has kept coming in a timely, accurate, and much-needed manner... especially when you needed it most.
The benefits that you, your family, and your favorite local businesses & organizations receive from having an independent Sylvania media outlet will continue, but only with your support.
And remember that throughout the year there are also more actions you can take that directly impact local journalism in your community:
- Share Sylvania News stories and social posts on your own personal pages;
- Use the Sylvania City & Township directory to peruse, shop, and support your local businesses-- Listings in the directory are also completely free of charge for businesses, and help shops and restaurants to connect with consumers in the community.
It truly is a great honor to be your source for Sylvania news, events, and information. Thank you for your continued support, and from everyone behind the Sylvania News/Simply Sylvania community newsletter and community website, we wish you all a happy holiday season!