Michael Gelbman: A commitment to community
From time to time as publisher of your community newspaper, I feel it’s important to provide an update on what we’re up to at the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza.
The future looks bright. Like many businesses, over the past few years we have had to make some difficult decisions; however, we have adapted, and we work very hard to consistently provide both breaking news coverage and quality community reporting.
Our editorial staff produces three print editions a week and provides coverage most days and evenings online, and, as you’ve recently read, both the Sun and Bonanza win awards annually from the California and the Nevada press associations.
With the economy slowly turning around — not withstanding our lack of a winter — we have seen this hard work translate into new advertisers, and it’s grown our excitement about the greater North Shore/Truckee community and its future.
One of the things we aspire to do each day is to be involved in the community. We regularly recognize the outstanding businesses and organizations that help make this such a wonderful place to call home. Without bragging too much, I’d like to let you know our activities in building communities are not confined to just reporting about them.
Each of our account executives works with or is a board member of a local association — Susan Kokenge, Truckee Downtown Merchants Association; Carolyn O’Connor, West Shore Business Association; Stacy Collins, Incline Village Board of Realtors; and Michelle Geary, Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe and the Incline Community Business Association.
Further, I am an executive board member of both the Tahoe City Downtown Association and North Tahoe Business Association, and serve on several committees.
This level of involvement allows us to be a part of larger conversations, and to help these organizations extend their message through our monthly community pages and partnerships.
We also have forged partnerships with the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation and the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation, allowing both the opportunity to share success stories through their weekly “Making a Difference” and “Tahoe Matters” features.
These stories are not a call to action for donations — rather, they give a voice to those organizations or individuals for whom donations made a difference.
In addition, we support many individual nonprofit organizations, providing a forum to help them tell their stories and keep their message top of mind.
We also have a real passion for literacy, a hallmark by which all true community newspapers should live. We have formed a partnership with Charlie Riley, owner of the Truckee Hometown Sears, for our local Teacher of the Year program.
Editor Kevin MacMillan has a grown a partnership with North Tahoe and Truckee high schools to help produce the Laker Lately and Wolverine student papers, and we have a similar partnership with Sierra Nevada College to insert the Eagle’s Eye.
In addition, we have set up a Scholarship for Schools fund with local partners, and this year we provided local students a chance to spend a free day at the Discovery Museum in Reno. We’re working with the KidZone Museum in Truckee to provide the same opportunity.
In the end, we care about all this because this is what a community newspaper does — we help to inform and create conversation within the community.
I am very proud of the products we produce, and of my staff who work long hours producing them. While we always strive to be better, I feel we provide our communities with professional content that is worth the read.
And none of it would be possible without the communities we serve. It is your support that allows us to keep putting out the local news, and I thank you dearly for that.
Michael Gelbman is publisher of the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. He may be reached for comment at email@example.com.