The April 30 issue is the final issue of Lakeshore Weekly News.
I’ve been struggling to come up with a way to communicate how devastated I am that after 25 years, Lakeshore Weekly News will cease to exist.
It’s a sad day for journalism, and for the Lake Minnetonka area.
I haven’t been at this paper that long. I started as a reporter in October 2018 and took over as the community editor in February 2019, at which time I also became the editor of Eden Prairie News (that paper is also discontinued). But Lakeshore Weekly News has been a part of my life a lot longer than that — I grew up here; I grew up reading this paper. I will miss it.
I want to thank everyone who trusted us to share their experiences so we could write about them. Without you, our sources, we wouldn’t have been able to do our jobs.
Thank you to everyone who reached out with a story idea, gave us feedback on the work we did, sent us photos, wrote columns, penned letters to the editor, and submitted guesses to where the heck is it. The paper would not have been the same without your contributions.
To everyone who read the stories we worked hard to write, thank you. Thanks for looking at the photos we snapped, and for watching the videos we produced.
Thank you to everyone who voluntarily subscribed to the paper, those who picked up a copy when you passed by a rack, and to the businesses and organizations that bought ads. You helped keep the paper going for as long as it did.
It’s been an honor to work for my hometown paper and share this community’s stories. Every day, I wished we had the staff and time to tell more of them. But I’m proud of the work we did with the resources we had.
I’m sad that I'll no longer be editing and writing for this paper, but I’m heartbroken the Lake Minnetonka-area cities have lost a community newspaper, especially at a time like this.
We were present. We went to city meetings. We worked to hold officials accountable. We told happy stories. We told sad stories. We kept readers informed about what was going on in their backyards, at their schools and in their cities.
Now, we won’t be there to do those things. We won't be there to inform the public. Yes, some of the other news outlets in the state will swoop in and cover a few of the things that are going on around here as they’ve done in the past, but we were there every day asking questions. That’s gone.
Now, if something happens in one of these communities, will people even know about it?
The Lakeshore Weekly News joins a long list of other community newspapers that are no longer being published. Previously, the paper was on the ever-growing list of newspapers that have experienced cutbacks, leaving a small staff that’s doing more work than they can handle in an attempt to properly cover their beats. These papers are suffering due to declining ad revenue and the lack of people willing to pay for news stories that are expensive and time-consuming to produce.
It’s the unfortunate reality of the industry, but we cannot afford to lose any more reporters and local news outlets.
There have been numerous pieces written about what happens when a community loses its local paper — taxes go up, government accountability is diminished, public trust declines, there’s less civic engagement, public officials are less available, and there are fewer original stories (a Duke study found local papers produce 50% of all original news stories, more than any of the other outlets combined) — because there’s no one left paying attention, asking questions and informing the public about what’s going on.
Because of this, I’ll use the final words I will ever write in the Lakeshore Weekly News to ask something of you: support your local news outlets.
Share links to stories on social media. Buy a subscription to the paper (even if you can get the paper for free). If you hit a paywall, don't get annoyed — it’s proof the publication is providing content that’s worth reading, so show some support and finally buy that digital subscription. If you’re a business, buy ads. Do whatever you can to keep the remaining local news outlets in business. We need to hear local stories, now more than ever.