My View – July 2017

Nine years to this day, I penned my first editor’s column in the July 2008 Jacksonville Review. That was 100 issues ago just days after my wife, Jo, and I purchased the Review from Carolyn Kingsnorth. After taking the reins, we had big shoes to fill and got to work bringing our own style and vision to the publication. The first major change was printing in 4-color and replacing news on the cover with an inspiring photo of life here. Since that first day on the job, “change” has been a part of the equation, something that you’ll notice in this issue.

In my first editorial, I wrote, “I bring a new vision…I want this to be a continued source of news that mirrors the positive changes happening in Southern Oregon.” As I suspected at the time, change was rapidly coming to the region, as reflected in my statement, “Jacksonville’s modern-day pioneers include an influx of entrepreneurs, opening new shops and businesses, with a revived spirit…from casual wine tasting rooms to new shops, art galleries… this influx of energy is making Jacksonville a more dynamic and interesting place to live.” With that statement now in history’s rear view mirror, my prediction has come to pass, albeit with negative and positive side effects.

Over the years, the Review has morphed into a “maga-paper,” more lifestyle magazine than “newspaper,” a move consciously crafted and carried out to stay relevant in an ever-changing, digitally-focused world. Rather than buy into the notion that “print is dead,” the Review is very much alive, thanks in part to monthly tweaks to improve the product. From day one, we started “with the end in mind,” never afraid to invest time, energy and money to improve the publication. That spirit of change and improvement has never been more in-play than in this issue, with all-new paper and a new printing press to make the pages pop!

Truth be told, the most significant influence on this publication has not come from me, but rather my longtime graphics editor, Andrea Yancey, who started working with me in 2010. Working quietly behind the scenes for seven years now, Andrea’s attention to detail and impactful graphic design and layout is the reason the Review is the most professionally-produced publication of its kind in the region. It’s also the reason I am so proud to put my name on this column.

As long-term readers have seen, Andrea and I have rebranded the Review many times, not only with 4-color, but with ever-improving layouts, logos, design and more. Along the way, we built and a Facebook page; both shining examples of the successful blending of the print and digital worlds. Believe me, PRINT is far from dead…it’s alive and well. Oh, and along the way, Andrea and I became business partners and launched Southern Oregon Wine Scene, the finest print publication showcasing the wineries in the region.

Of course, none of this would matter without YOU, the readers who inspire us to produce a monthly COMMUNITY publication that reflects our wonderful town. As I have stated in countless columns over nine years, I am most grateful to our CONTRIBUTORS and ADVERTISING clients, all of whom comprise an amazing group with passion and commitment to Jacksonville. Without their support, none of this would be possible.

Finally, back in 2008, I stated, “The Review will continue working to be a part of the solution by covering important issues as it showcases Jacksonville’s outstanding citizens, history and happenings.” It is my sincere hope to have lived-up to the responsibility of being the publisher of the Jacksonville Review and to be a positive influence on Our Small Town with Big Atmosphere!