By Jennifer Eytcheson
Dear Crestone Eagle Community,
We are thrilled to be embarking on an exciting new chapter for the Crestone Eagle. The journey so far has been nothing short of remarkable, and we feel incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by a community of talented and knowledgeable individuals, including our esteemed board members, dedicated staff, passionate writers, photographers, and contributors. Your collective expertise and commitment have been instrumental in making the Crestone Eagle the exceptional community newspaper that it is today.
As you may have noticed, there has been a brief hiatus in our newsletter production over the past few months. Our transition from an independently owned to nonprofit organization brought with it its fair share of challenges and changes, but we are proud to say that we have successfully infused the Crestone Eagle with fresh perspectives while staying true to the foundation laid out by Kizzen.
One notable change is the establishment of an editorial team consisting of six individuals with diverse backgrounds. This team convenes at the beginning of each month, bringing together their unique viewpoints to brainstorm ideas for upcoming articles. This collaborative approach allows us to capture the pulse of our community from multiple vantage points, ensuring a more diverse and engaging content mix. We are delighted to announce that Matt Lit, a former board member, has taken the helm as our new Managing Editor, overseeing the editorial team and production. Be on the lookout for an email that provides more details about Matt, our board, the editorial team, and our new in-house staff.
It is with great honor that I assume the role of executive director of the Crestone Eagle. Working alongside the exceptional individuals on our nonprofit Crestone Eagle Community Media board of directors, my goal is to sustain and build upon the many wonderful aspects of our newspaper while venturing into new and exciting territories.
We have identified three key focus areas, which we refer to as the “3 Rs”:
1. Reach: We aspire to expand the reach of our news coverage. While Crestone will always hold a special place in our hearts, we also aim to cover the entirety of the San Luis Valley, fostering unity and connection among its diverse communities.
2. Readership: We are dedicated to growing our readership base. As we broaden our news coverage, we envision having a presence in multiple paper outlets across the region, including Salida, Alamosa, Del Norte, Monte Vista, Center, and more.
3. Revenue: Generating additional revenue is vital to our future plans. While we proudly operate as a nonprofit, there are numerous projects we would like to undertake. These include hiring full-time news reporters to keep us informed of breaking news, establishing an up-to-date breaking news section on our website to be a trusted online source, enhancing our digital presence through audio and video content, staying active on social media, and sharing regional news content with other sources.
With your incredible support through fundraisers and the grants we have received, we have already achieved significant milestones. We have expanded our in-house staff, brought on Zaylah Pearson-Good as our regional news project manager to engage new writers and cover more Valley-related news and features, upgraded our computer systems and printers, and enhanced our software for greater efficiency. We have also managed to maintain financial stability, thanks to your generosity. In addition, we have organized successful events like Wine, Cheese & Conversation in April, which will become a regular occurrence throughout the year. Most importantly, we have continued to deliver local, trusted news to ensure that we are all well-informed about topics that affect us, community events that bring us together, and valuable information about local businesses and services.
We would like to express our deep gratitude for your ongoing support and encourage you to consider making a donation to help us realize our expanded vision for the Crestone Eagle. You can conveniently contribute by leaving a check or cash at the Eagle office, sending a check to our mailing address at PO Box 101, or visiting https://the-crestone-eagle.fundjournalism.org/donate/. Your support means the world to us, and we sincerely appreciate your generosity.
Once again, we extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you who make the Crestone Eagle an exceptional community newspaper. Your dedication, involvement, and enthusiasm inspire us every day. Together, we will continue to uplift our community through the power of reliable journalism, fostering connections, and sharing compelling stories.
With warm regards,
Together, under the guidance of our esteemed board members, we are committed to advancing the Crestone Eagle’s mission and ensuring that our community receives the outstanding news coverage it deserves.The Crestone Eagle Community Media board members are Gussie Fauntleroy, President, Rick Hart, Treasurer, Karen Barbee, Secretary, and we welcome our newest member, Leah Garcia.