It’s the start of a new era at The Beachcomber.
The issue that you hold in your hands today marks a return to form, in some ways, as Vashon’s newspaper of record once more heads to island homes and businesses as a broadsheet-sized publication and not in the tabloid format as it has been printed for the last decade.
This decision was made in large part to reduce production costs, as Sound Publishing, the parent company of The Beachcomber, continues to tighten its belt in response to the loss of advertising revenue from businesses that remain shut down with Gov. Jay Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order remaining in effect. We are holding our breath, surely with many of you, readers, that our state remains on course to slowly reopen as part of Inslee’s Safe Start plan. Like many in print journalism around the country, we depend on the community to do our work. But this is the world today. And now, this is The Beachcomber.
You can expect to see some changes in the way our pages look — some that will even initially come as a surprise to us — and in the coming weeks, we will continue to configure these pages to best serve you. But adjustment will be necessary, and we ask that you bear with us through any growing pains that might occur.
As the economy is gradually started back up and the island’s shop owners and restaurateurs welcome patrons back — however public life continues in the near future — it will be prudent for us at the paper to stay responsive to Vashon’s needs and continue doing our job of keeping the community informed. That commitment may decide how certain pages are organized.
However, The Beachcomber remains the island’s paper, and so we invite your input and feedback during this next phase of our own.
What would you like to see? A dedicated page for bulletins and announcements? More contributions from island residents? What works? What doesn’t? What appeals to you? Please email your thoughts or comments to the editorial staff — reporters Paul Rowley or, returning this week from her furlough, Elizabeth Shepherd — at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org respectively.
Our goal as writers and reporters throughout this entire ordeal has been for The Beachcomber to remain a quality publication, the one Vashon has known for decades and, we hope, will read for decades more. That is a difficult job with a smaller staff and reduced hours. But it is a job that we believe is important. Vashon deserves a good newspaper, and like always, we’re going to give you the best one we can. Thank you for reading, and see you next week.