Make the McKenzie Connection!

Ridin' the Rapids - December 29

As another year winds down it’s always a good time to count our blessings, reflect on the year, and thank in particular the great people and businesses whose partnerships have shored up and sustained McKenzie River Reflections.

In recent years newspaper publishers have faced hard choices when confronted with rapidly rising production and delivery costs. Luckily, I saw changes were inevitable and started to prepare for major adjustments over three years ago by offering existing and new subscribers a digital version of this weekly newspaper.

2022 proved to be a continuation of significant yearly challenges dating back to when COVID first made its appearance. Since then potential roadblocks to sustainability have included the Holiday Farm Fire, the death of my wife and partner, and the decision of our long-time printer to stop producing newspapers.

Luckily, the last 12 months included opportunities to team up with organizations that have been immensely helpful as a way to gain perspectives and guidance on business operations as well as a sounding board to bounce new ideas off of.

One I’ve joined is RAIN (Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network) of Eugene. It’s an organization of established and newly launched entrepreneurs that provides training in a wide variety of skills. Some of those skills I’ve been using for the last 40+ years but the after-class gatherings always provide a new nugget of information about how someone else has solved a unique problem.

The other group is LION (Local Independent Online News) Publishers, a 400+ member association of independent news organizations. It too offers courses and resources and peer connections focused on ways to succeed in today’s online world of publishing.

LION, in cooperation with the Google News Initiative, solicited applications from members to be part of a sustainability audit designed to evaluate a publication’s operations - and determine if it was on a positive growth path. McKenzie River Reflections was one of 25 publications chosen for the sustainability review.

According to LION and Google, I’m on the right path and they’ve authorized a $6,000 grant to Reflections to continue moving forward. As part of that agreement, I offered to share reports on my progress with other members of the organization.

So, as I look forward to the coming months, I’d like to hope 2023 will be filled with continuing successes - and much happiness for you and yours.


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