The Granite City AdVantage News team, with Southwestern Madison County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rosemarie Brown and AdVantage News owner John Simmons.
Hello, and welcome to the first issue of the all-new, Granite City edition of AdVantage News! We are excited to be here, and we hope you are equally as excited to welcome this newspaper to your community.
In our bi-monthly shopper, you might have noticed a bit more news content by a few new names of late. That is because we had already begun the transition to your weekly community newspaper. Take a few minutes to sit down with a cup of coffee (or tea, or hamburger, or whatever you have a craving for) and leaf through this edition you hold in your hands.
So, who are we? On June 4, 1986, Jim Seibold and Sharon McRoy and their band of merry media magicians mailed out the first issue of a brand-new publication to 42,000 homes in Greater Alton. Today’s AdVantage offered a home for local advertisers to promote their business to the entire community.
“We wanted a way for our advertisers to reach everyone, and that is what we did,” Sharon McRoy says.
In the mid-2000s, circulation expanded to include a Granite City version.
Now, 29 years (to the day!) after that first issue, every household in Granite City, Mitchell and Pontoon Beach (that is more than 18,000 homes!) is going to receive the first edition of AdVantage News every week, safe and dry in their mailbox.
This newspaper will probably be a little different than what you may be used to. We are more concerned with serving this community than a multinational news agency. We are not owned by a corporation intent on using the publication for its own personal agenda. Lastly, we are not interested in splashing exploitative headlines and doom-and-gloom across our front page. While it is our responsibility to give you the news affecting Granite City, both good and bad, we believe there is always something positive to find in every story.
When the first issue of AdVantage News was published in Greater Alton on Feb. 1, 2014, new owner and CEO John Simmons said it best.
“An effective local newspaper strengthens the ties that bind our communities,” he said. “A locally oriented newspaper ensures accountability in civic affairs and celebrates accomplishments that otherwise might go unnoticed.
“AdVantage News will not try to report or explain (subjects such as) war. To the relief of many (and the chagrin of others), we don’t intend to sway your political or spiritual beliefs.”
Your contributors are from right here in Granite City, as well. Cathy Webb’s passion for writing began in the first grade and she interviewed Lou Brock for her high school newspaper. During her time as the Marquette Catholic High School Newspaper sponsor, she arranged for interviews with Rams players, including Kurt Warner. In 2011, she also won first place in the International Dickens Society Teacher Writing Competition. Cathy will contribute features about the people you know and places you visit.
Amber Jenkins graduated from Webster University in 2009 with a bachelor of arts and was the recipient of the 2007 Saint Louis Press Club Scholarship Award, also serving as managing editor for the student newspaper. She has since written for other area newspapers and online publications. A mother of two, she lives in Granite City with her husband, Daniel. Amber will provide both news and features.
Theo Tate has been writing for AdVantage News for the last few months and will contribute to both the news and sports sections (For more about Theo, check out sports coordinator Bill Roseberry’s column on page 18).
Give us your feedback
So now you know us just a little bit better. We may put the pages together, but more than anything we want you to think of this as YOUR newspaper. Over time, we plan to grow and adapt to meet the needs of this community, and that is where YOU come in. Do you see something you like? Do you not see something you think would be a great addition? We want to hear from you!
We also are on the lookout for contributors, both writers and photographers.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org; I look forward to hearing what it is you want to see in your community newspaper.