Peachland, you’re the best

It’s 5 in the morning, and this is usually the best time for finding my words, before kids wake up for school, before I start looking at my phone. I want to say thank you, and convey the depth of it. Because I’m doing something I really love, and it’s starting to get acknowledged.

The 2020 Mayor’s Award of Merit, the 2021 Excellence in Community Inclusion Award and the 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year – a trio of awards that feels weird for me to type (I still feel strange about self-promotion). Not since sweeping the Academy Awards of Literature in sixth grade, have I won anything, draws and raffles included. These ones mean a LOT. It means people are seeing what I’m doing, and they like it. Even better, they see The Phoenix (and me, I guess) as part of this community. And that’s an honour. So, if you nominated me / put in a good word / made these awards happen, please know that it’s very much appreciated – and it’s given me a big boost in continuing with The Phoenix – because this only happens with your support (which costs as much as a fancy coffee per month!)

I’ve been reading up on independent outlets. Many of them started with seed money, usually in the form of a big government grant. In one case, the grant money was spent on hiring reporters, and they did some pretty great stories, which everyone could read. They have more than 1,000 people reading their email newsletters. But the grant money is running out, and they don’t have enough people in their community invested enough in their work to actually pay for it.

Here in Peachland, I have 260 people who are paying me $6 a month (with some still on my old $4 a month rate). The support is mighty, but yes, it is small. My local news is for subscribers only because I worried right off the bat (and still do), that if I give away my local news for free – my exclusives and first-to-knows – it just becomes part of that mass media mess that even I have unfollowed. I don’t want to do clickbait and noise and waiting for a press release so I can rewrite someone else’s words into a story that’s the same as every other outlet in the valley (ever notice that?)

I want to be part of Peachland – because the people are the ones who make it special, and I want to help out those who are contributing. That’s why I make all my updates on local community groups free access. Everyone can read that. And if you do, maybe one day you’ll click on that Subscribe button. I’d like that a lot 🙂

The Phoenix doesn’t exist without Peachlanders. So whether you like my Facebook / Insta and give the website an occasional look, or you’re a subscriber, or you actually nominated me for these awards, you’re not only allowing a small business to succeed – you’re making it possible for a fellow Peachlander to grow something that I feel is important, anyway – An independent local, media outlet that works for people who care about our town. So, thank you!

Written by Kristen Friesen

June 7, 2022

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