By Scott Carlson
A golden anniversary
As we begin the New Year, 2024 is especially significant for the Park Bugle: This year our community non-profit newspaper celebrates it 50th anniversary.
As the first sign of that milestone, we have a new Bugle nameplate that draws upon our familiar graphic.
Over the past 50 years, the Bugle has grown in production and stature. Our first issue, published in July 1974, was only eight pages with a heavy mix of local ads and a smattering of community news. The front page included a story on residents petitioning for a stop light at Como and Doswell avenues, plus a schedule of Fourth of July events.
These days, the Bugles are typically 16 to 20 pages with each edition a strong mix of government, school, sports, feature and editorial news. Commentaries and community-submitted writings are a mainstay.
Our breadth and depth of stories are meant not merely to inform readers but turn them into neighbors.
So why has the Bugle survived when so many other newspapers have folded in recent years?
I believe our longevity is due to a blend of strong news writing, good stories, solid advertising support and an amazing base of business and individual donors. We are also armed with a small but mighty staff of freelance writers and a handful of editorial and advertising pros who work part-time for this publication.
The Bugle really helps to create community.
Over the years, the Bugle also has been recognized for its editorial excellence. Just this month, we learned the Bugle is a winner in five categories of the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest for 2023. We expect to learn full details in mid-January.
In upcoming issues of the Bugle, we will look back at past decades to some Bugle highlights and reprise the stories and creative people who have produced this newspaper.
We also plan to take time to celebrate our publication’s milestone. For example, plans are already underway to hold a wine and cheese reception to say “thank you” to advertisers who support the Bugle.
Look for other Bugle events and stories in the months ahead.
As we celebrate the Bugle’s milestone, we still intend to keep our eye on the ball, continuing to produce informative and entertaining print and website news that appeal to a broad array of readers.
To help keep us on track, we plan to launch a Readers Council, which will serve as a sounding board to find out what kinds of stories are resonating with readers and how we can reach more people. Currently, we are still accepting applications. People interested in learning more about the council should contact Bugle board presiding officer Helen Warren at email@example.com.
Yes, this is not the time to rest on our laurels. The next Bugle deadline (for our February issue) is only a month away!
Scott Carlson is the managing editor of the Bugle.