Thanks for Being There

You’re reading a column that appears in issue 47 of the Peninsula Pulse; only five more to go for 2023. Some of those issues have been harder to put down than others, this year owing to pain and imperfections caused by staffing challenges. But Sam Watson – our reporter who was in a terrible car accident in July – has returned to these pages. A couple weeks ago we hired a part-time editorial assistant, Mike Bacsi, who spent a career in banking (despite his degree in journalism) and having retired with his wife to Baileys Harbor, sought a way to help out in our newsroom. Last week, a new full-time reporter joined our team, Craig Sterrett, who many will know given the freelancing he’s done for us over the past couple of years. 

With all these advancements, we’ll be able to cover even more of this county than we have in the past – which definitely goes against the trend.

“The loss of local newspapers accelerated in 2023 to an average of 2.5 per week, leaving more than 200 counties as “news deserts,” and meaning that more than half of all U.S. counties now have limited access to reliable local news and information,” according to researchers at the  Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, and its recent release of its annual report, the State of Local News Project

We have Peninsula Pulse co-owner and founder Dave Eliot to thank for this – for making investments in our newsroom when it feels like the rest of the newspaper world is making cuts; for believing unequivocally in a newspaper’s ability to create strong and cohesive communities. 

Thanks also goes out to all those who contribute regularly to our paper, including Tom Groenfeldt, a freelancer who covers art for us, and our column contributors who add voice and diversity to our pages: Charlotte Lukes (Door to Nature); Kevin Naze (Wild Things); Mike Orlock (Mike at the Movies); Bret Bicoy (Pulse of Philanthropy); Sally Collins and Karen Corekin-DeLaMer (Parents Corner); Julie Gilbert (Tourism & the Visitor Economy); Tanya Ditzman (Featured Pet); our Culture Club writers (they vary by week); our Coordinated Community Response writers (they vary by month); the Door County Poets Collective (they contribute monthly); and the Door County Published Authors Collective (they contribute monthly).

As you can see, it takes a village to populate a newspaper, beyond even our full-time staff who amaze me week-in, week-out with their dedication, skills and talents. I’m so proud of what they accomplish.

All of us do what we do because we know you’re all out there, reading and using our content. I know I’ve thanked you before for this and will likely do so again many times: engaging with our content – and us – provides the proof of this newspaper’s worth. I remind myself often that the stress I feel over not being able to prioritize everything our readers want, rely upon and need us to cover is the best problem a newspaper can have.

I’m giving thanks, obviously, because Thanksgiving is upon us. I also love everything about this holiday  – its relatively low-key nature, the food, the time spent with family. Thanksgiving also signals the year’s end for me. After this, the mad whirl of seasonal festivities and responsibilities begins, fueled by Christmas cookies, driven by package-mailing deadlines. It’s all a blur. I relax back to normal sometime after we ring in the New Year.

It’s the perfect time, then, to give thanks and gratitude for all we have given and received throughout the course of 2023. Perhaps imperfectly, perhaps with some pain or sacrifice, perhaps laying our heads down some nights with doubt, wondering if we’ll rise with the strength needed to fight our good fight, whatever that may be. It’s the perfect time to reflect on this and bear witness to our own lives. Only we can know our internal struggles. Only we can know if we triumphed, how many dragons we slayed, whether we’ve used our days wisely and with hearts wide open – a true test. 

Thank you always and forever for reading, and Happy Thanksgiving to you all.