In certainly was a surprising honor for our parent company — Pioneer Publishing — to be recognized as one of 10 News Publishers Doing It Right from Editor & Publisher, the leading news industry trade publication since 1884 (to modify their tagline).

It’s impressive company, especially hearing about the rural operations that have revived the small town paper (yes, still in print, with plenty online) with a relentless focus on local, local, local. Some day we might enjoy the innovations of the larger media operations, including eliminating credit card fees, audience optimization and even adding print days.

My favorite line in our write-up is the first line, “Pioneer Publishing’s founding publication, the alternative news monthly, The Reader, was, as its core, a community organization.” There was never a local media plan, the plan was to elevate uncovered stories and a thriving local culture scene. That led to a media operation.

For the record, we partnered with El Perico in 2004.

And while we expect our agency services to continue to help drive growth, while staying carbon neutral, I’d be remiss not to recognize our editorial accomplishments, in particular a Great Plains Journalism Award for Chris Bowling’s coverage of Dundee in the early days of the pandemic, a LION Editorial Solutions Journalism Award to Leah Cates on the Fight to Change Social Studies in Nebraska (deceptively simple, the judges said, a story that could be applied everywhere), and starting (and now renewing) a Report for America reporter, Bridget Fogarty, who’s coverage of white flight in public schools made the national education reporting website The Hechinger Report this month.

We’re excited to be working on bringing Documenters to Omaha later this year, a premier citizen journalism initiative and look forward to supporting more innovation in our local media ecosystem. Innovating the business model means we made it this far. Innovating the journalism model means we fulfill our purpose. Thanks for joining us in this journey.