New growth — The Bridge becomes Minneapolis Bridgeland News

Subscribe, and help us grow the next generation of news

On Memorial Day weekend, my wife and I traveled north of Lake Superior to a friend’s cabin near the end of the Gunflint Trail. Nine years ago, straight-line winds knocked down a huge swath of trees around their place. Then two years ago, the Ham Lake fire pretty much finished off what was left of a majestic forest. We went to help them plant the next generation of forest.

Apparently, unless you’re ready to walk away, that’s what you do when your neck of the woods gets burnt down; replant and turn your attention to the splendid emergence of new flora and fauna that the old forest wouldn’t allow.

It’s an apt metaphor for our venerable community news publication. Straight-line recession winds have fueled a fire through the newspaper landscape that has reached our publication and left us with two options: replant or walk away. After 20 years of providing this publication a home, darn if we’re going to walk away, yet.

Even though we can’t raise the resources to continue printing a paper edition at this time, our will to provide this community with a quality news publication remains strong. After all, this is our place, too. Already we’ve seeded the new biome with a pretty good website, and we have given it a better name, Minneapolis Bridgeland News, with an easier web address: Coming up next is a weekly eNewsletter, cleverly called the Bridgeland Current. All things considered, we’re very excited about the potential of the online version to better deliver the main mission of the publication — to build an informed community. If life gives you soggy newsprint, make websites.

But we need you to show us some love. You and your neighbor can help by registering as a subscriber.

It’s still free, though it would be great if you could also give us financial support. Mostly, it is urgent that we show our steadfast advertisers, (OK, and us too) that Bridgeland News has impressive support. We believe the best way to demonstrate that is by replacing the 23,000 addresses we were mailing the paper to with a compelling number of email addresses to which we can send the Bridgeland Current newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell or use your email for any other purpose, except for perhaps an “Extra! Extra!” email alert about a breaking story. How cool would that be?

So please, join us online to see what emerges and help us figure out how best to cultivate this new-growth publication. We will surely miss the old newspaper in our lap, but if all goes well, we might once again produce some kind of print edition. But for now, the website model not only gives us a chance to keep going, but also the opportunity to explore its potential to publish a greater variety of content in a more timely manner.

We’re going to give the Bridgeland News website our best shot. We simply ask that you give us your vote of confidence.

Please, subscribe now.

Oh, and pass the news on to your neighbor.

last revised: July 13, 2009