Gordon Stewart

If each of us got only one line to sum up our first six months, mine would be: Funny how the simplest ideas take the hardest work to carry out. The good news is that an e-paper doesn’t have such tough space limits. We can cover just about everything that happens in Philipstown in whatever depth and at whatever length necessary. In fact, most of our readers are finding far more than they can take in at any one viewing. Some even think we give them too much!

That’s because the four editor/writers, whose work you’ve been reading every day, have worked so hard to learn and share everything they can about the town every one of them loves. Your response to their work has been the single most rewarding experience I’ve had as publisher.

Though hard as this may be to believe, I also get great satisfaction knowing that we can give Philipstowners so much of the basic stuff we all need to make life here more enjoyable and manageable — such as a basic calendar, business directory, school info, a choice of weather sources, trains, emergencies, late-breaking events from crime to cannonballs. Plus special features like Joe Dizney’s ‘Shortlist’, a labor of love we love him for doing – – all in one place.

And then there’s the astonishingly good video work of Andrew Veltz — from our July 4 opening day to the warm, wonderful holiday concert given in our Space by Ken Veltz’ Listening Room. More good news is that we will be continuing these in a monthly series we’re calling 3rd Wednesday in Cold Spring. Several Main Street businesses are already involved, such as Go-Go Pops, which is providing refreshments.

Speaking of our local business, we are dedicated to helping them prosper in any way we can. About 50 of them now have their own free video, made with and for them, which you can watch in our locally focused Yellow Pages  … and which they can use in any way they wish. Still more are coming.

I committed Philipstown.info to this project because as a newcomer who’s lived in so many other places, I came to realize that almost all of our businesses are unique and local, so they are every bit as central to the life and soul of our community as our natural resources and our cultural, religious, and governmental institutions. They need and deserve our full support. That’s one reason we have a store on Main Street, even though we’re an e-paper. Another is that we want to help all Philipstown organizations in every way we can. For example, we’re thrilled to have Sam Tellerico’s bold and beautiful Cold Spring Radio. And not just for the music — you should hear the guy!

This fall we arranged with the Garrison Art Center to provide them with a Cold Spring exhibition space, which can only help Main Street too. We’re also giving window promotion space to the Depot Theatre. We’ve made offers to other organizations who need Main Street exposure, such as the Historical Society. We plan to offer even more at 69 Main Street in 2011, including special events like jazz, poetry, art shows, and conversations with local folks who know what they’re talking about.

But our hearts and minds are always focused in putting out the best possible paper for Philipstown. In trying to achieve this serious ambition, I’ve learned that for communities like ours … and even for much larger ones … an e-paper is not a default second choice, to be used if no one can afford to keep a print paper going. Why? We can report in depth without severe space limits, print complete documents and transcripts, run multiple pictures, produce videos, help businesses and cultural institutions tell their stories, inform you about meetings, let you know when a tree falls on a road, help find a missing pet, and maybe keep you from feeling bad when you miss something you wish you’d known about (if you check the calendar).

We’re also able to provide an almost real-time forum for your views on just about anything, as long as it’s Philipstown. As for our own opinions? That too is simple. Philipstown.info doesn’t have any. Sure each of us has our own, what kind of a citizen doesn’t? But we take no editorial positions on anything — inside of Philipstown or beyond.

In our news coverage, we try our best to give equal space to all views. One way we do that is by being really tough on ourselves at our weekly meeting. If you ever think we’ve failed to be open to your views, or failed to represent them accurately, please let us know. We publish all views, including those critical of us, and ask only that you not make it necessary to edit them for excessive length or abusive language. Above all, we are committed to being All Philipstown, All the time.

For each of us, this is our only home. When my family moved here with our now 11-year daughter, none of us had any difficulty keeping up with the rest of the world, and we still don’t. Whatever one thinks of the quality of news today, there sure is plenty of it. What we couldn’t get was thorough, enjoyable, and non-inflected news about where we love living.

So when within hours of opening Philipstown.info, now a long/short six months ago, people were asking me — “What’s this all about? What are you trying to do?” — my answer was then, as now: “Just be a really good Philipstown newspaper.” Which is still the same simple idea we will all be working even harder to carry out in 2011.

Gordon Stewart, Publisher


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