Nicole Aimone, Editor-in-Chief
It’s hard to believe that Valley Sentinel has been publishing since October— that’s nearly six months. I say that it’s hard to believe because for me the weeks have flown by and I feel like we have come so far in this endeavor.
From the very beginning, we’ve been open about our use of pen names, both in our masthead and when the question came up from members of the community. The reason for needing pen names has always remained the same, many of our editors, myself included, started this endeavor while also holding positions at various different corporate media platforms, corporate media platforms that have contracts containing big, scary non-compete clauses with intimidating and threatening legal language.
While we all made the choice to create and put the work in for Valley Sentinel because we believed in the community and believed in building something different than the corporate world we lived day in and day out, many of us didn’t have the option to leave our full-time corporate jobs let alone risk violating their non-competes and risk being fired or sued by large corporations, bills still had to be paid and necessities bought.
We’re excited though to share, that has come to an end. We can now continue providing good, local journalism to our community without the need for our pen names or the fear of large corporations.
You might ask what that means, or what the difference will be. The answer, nothing. Our names will look different but we are still the same group of people trying to build a community we love, a life we love and careers we love.
We are still the same people who cashed in savings bonds and retirement funds to get this started, those funds are what have subsisted us, along with some ad revenue along the way. We’re lucky that our weekly overhead is low. Our goal is to get news in front of as many eyes as possible, that’s why we’re passionate about remaining independently, majority female owned and free. We are excited to be a part of this community, and we’re giving to the community what a group of journalists knows best.
This week’s edition is a sort of milestone for us. It’s the largest edition of the paper that we’ve put out, and it’s stuffed full of content that we’ve written and hand picked because we believe it provides a compelling community interest, informs our community or brings us closer together.
It features a variety of stories covering local municipalities, local arts and culture, sports, schools, local businesses—it provides so many layers to our community. Behind the scenes it marks the smoothing out of our workflow and the coming together of some really great minds to make this all happen.
People often say it takes a village to raise a child—but that’s also the case for raising a newspaper (in our cases, it’s at least four different villages). Valley Sentinel is constantly growing and evolving, as we always knew it would, we will only continue to grow if the community grows and we will only continue to evolve if the community continues to support us.
We’re so excited, we hope all of you are too.