Letter from the Publisher

FNL Letter from Publisher 1601

You may have noticed that we’ve made some changes. Beginning with the nameplate at the top of page one, we’ve given Southside NewsLine the ink and paper equivalent of an oil change and a fresh coat of paint. But we haven’t just redesigned the paper; we’ve also rethought what it means to be your community newspaper.

We are also changing the dates on the top of the paper. Southside NewsLine will continue to be a monthly newspaper, but are realigning our distribution dates to help ensure the news you receive is timelier. This issue we’re calling January-February, but you will receive your March issue before March 1, and every issue that follows before the first of the month.   

We have now placed a new emphasis on the quality of our reporting and storytelling. When the Circulation Verification Council surveyed Southside residents it reported that more than 97 percent of you receive Southside NewsLine, more than 75 percent of households regularly read Southside NewsLine and 73 percent regularly buy products or services from ads in Southside NewsLine.

Those are readership numbers most publications only dream of achieving, and they prove the value of the audience we deliver to our advertisers. You, our readers, are what make Southside NewsLine succeed. If you own or manage a business serving people on the Southside you should consider advertising here and supporting your local community newspaper.

To better serve our readers we’ve recruited a stable of talented writers and photographers to help us better cover the news, craft better features and show you the faces, places and events in the Southside.

Among the other changes you can see are a clean new look that makes Southside NewsLine easier on the eyes and easier for you to integrate into your busy lives. Our new four-column layout opens up the page and makes it easier to read.

The front page now offers multiple points of entry to help you quickly find the stories you care about, as does the index on page two. We’ve recently added a crossword and other puzzles and have reintroduced classified ads, which we will soon expand.

You’ll still find the “refrigerator magnet” stories and photos that are our bread and butter. Schools, local sports, community organizations and charity events will be featured in every issue, and now we’ve added an event calendar you can save to keep you up to date on local happenings throughout the month.

The nameplate at the top of page one sports a fresh new logo and now includes a nod to our family of community newspapers. Florida NewsLine is comprised of six hyper-local publications that combined reach more First Coast readers than any single newspaper (yes, including that one).

Not everything is new. Our news font is based on a design that was old when Shakespeare published his first play. Davey Wiggins is still lost somewhere in each issue.

I can’t close without mentioning SouthsideNewsLine.com, which has been completely redesigned as a mobile-friendly responsive website regularly updated with new content, including stories and features that you won’t find in the print edition. You’ll also find a .pdf of the latest issue in case you want to direct out-of-town loved ones to a picture or story they might want to hang on their refrigerator.

To stay even more up-to-date, you can receive updates in your inbox. Join our mailing list by texting NEWSLINE to 22828 and you’ll receive a response requesting your email address.

Thank you for allowing us to be your community newspaper. We will strive to continue to earn the right to be your source for news and events happening in and affecting the Southside.

Warmest regards,

Mark Pettus, Publisher