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Today is a really big day for the Racine County Eye.
We rolled out a brand new website, one that I am proud of and will serve us for many years. Back in November, we were told that we received a grant to cover the development cost. I was so jacked. Then reality set in… I needed to take a good hard look at how we help our readers, businesses and our community.
Really, all of those things are intertwined. Sure we’re a news website, but we’re also a community platform and sustainable business. So I spent the last 2 1/2 months thinking about why I’m a journalist, a business owner, and a member of this community.
My vision: RCE isn’t just a news website. It helps the community through solutions-based journalism. It’s that place where people say, hey…let’s find out about what’s going on. And it’s that place that talks about the hard stuff, but with truth and compassion.
To accomplish that, I had a lot of help. And I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my staff and my freelancers — Faith Finfrock, Krish Colon, Bill Houston, Mark Lisowski and Katie Knoff for all of their help and support. I also want to thank the folks at WordPress; Google News Initiative; The Lenfest Institute for Journalism; ConsenSys, the venture studio backing Civil Media; and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
When I started the site six years ago, I never would have thought there would be so many organizations that wanted to see journalism succeed. It’s refreshing because this is not easy work.
So today was the big day.
We anchored the top with a city-scape of Racine, balanced the news of the day with nonprofit news and included engaging ways for readers to interact with businesses. We started a celebrations section, which will highlight stories around moments of celebration — Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, prom, graduations… things like that. I want it to highlight this town’s human-ness.
RCE will also be rolling out three newsletters over the coming months: Things to Do in the 262, real estate and employment. So you may occasionally see a pop-up asking you if you would like to subscribe. But I promise they will be few and far between. We always want our readers to have a fabulous user experience.
As some of you may or may not know, the Racine County Eye is free but we also do accept voluntary subscriptions. This is also our living. So if you are able to commit to supporting us with a subscription, we’d really appreciate it.