If you’d told me the day before July 23, 2019 that I’d be launching a new Lynchburg newspaper the next day, I would have told you that you were crazy. It just wasn’t on my immediate radar.
Sure, the idea had floated inside my mind nearly constantly since I left my position as Editor and Publisher of The Moore County News in November 2012 … but it felt ill timed, too hard, out of reach … until it didn’t.
On that random Tuesday, around noon, I heard a very small, still voice say, “It’s time.” I didn’t question it. In a single day, I built a website and social media pages. I immediately started publishing stories and planned a week’s worth of editorial and thought, “we’ll see what happens.”
What happened was a huge, positive response from a community I love. It felt as if I’d never left and I knew instantly that what I’d once lost had been miraculously re-found … my purpose. I set a goal … if I could manage to get 5,000 readers in the first year then I’d know I’d created a meaningful media platform … one that could be an asset to both the citizens of Lynchburg but also the small businesses and corporations that make this place special.
We knocked that goal out of the park. As of today, our first birthday, we enjoy around 6,000 follower across three social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and are read by as many as 30,000 folks each week – some from as far away as Ireland, the UK, the Philippines, Canada and 60 other countries, according to our website stats. That’s amazing.
So what’s next?
Never a pay wall. As we move into our second year, we want you to know that our content will always be free. Newspapers make a democracy work … they hold public officials accountable … they create a more informed electorate. The information you need will always be free.
Lynchburg Times books. Remember the Hillbilly snap shooter? We adored Joe Clark’s work and want to emulate it. We are actively working with at least two local photographers to create stand alone books that you are definitely gonna want on your coffee table or under your Christmas tree.
Reader support … simplified. Can I subscribe? It’s a question we get asked a lot. The Lynchburg Times is a reader supported newspaper. You can support us for as little as $5 per month. How? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the amount of monthly support you’d like to give and we’ll email you back an with an invoice. You pay it and the amount will be paid monthly automatically for as long as you want … cancel anytime. That’s it. It’s that simple. Be sure to include your mailing address so we can send you a thank you gift.
Small business partnerships. We are passionate about supporting small, locally owned businesses. It’s not only what we do, it’s who we are. We’ve got plans to offer more than just static advertising. We want to partner with local businesses on marketing that fuels our mutual success. Small business friendly rates, no contracts, guaranteed results … no seriously.
In the end, I just wanted to say a sincere thank you to everyone reading this. Every like, every share, every comment … every time we see you on the sidewalk and you tell us you love what The Lynchburg Times is doing … well it means the world.
Here’s to year two.
Tabitha Evans Moore, Editor and Publisher