It is exactly one year since our inception on July, 30th, 2012. During the past year, much of our effort was focused on putting together a reporting system that included a powerful website with an easy to read layout; we have accomplished both of these tasks. Prior to the installation of the current layout, we’ve had one that was not as appealing as the current, upon realization, we quickly found a better more readable design and implemented it.
Similarly, during half of the first year, we’ve had a server that was relatively weak, and unable to handle large influx of readers. After the untimely death of a Passaic County Technical Institute student, a large number of you visited the website causing it to crawl. It was slow, it did not load images, and it gave up while loading pages. Our server has since been upgraded, and it can handle well over 100,000 users per a day.
From last July to this July the newspaper mainly covered soft-news: festivals, holidays, and public events. And crime. We quickly learned that a newspaper cannot be built on only good news, excluding the crime of course. This insight forced us to cover what is important to residents, like knowing where to find a shelter after Hurricane Sandy and where residents were to go to vote the days following that storm. We are proud of the coverage we provided before and after Sandy. Before the storm we had a team sent to International High School, where the Red Cross shelter was located in Paterson, to check capacity. After the storm we sent out a team to survey and take pictures of all the damage that was inflicted on the city by the storm. Afterwards, many residents still without electricity from the storm, were confused as to where their polling stations were located — some polling sites had lost power and had to be relocated –, we posted an article that helped residents get to the right stations.
We know our readers value the information we provide because during the first month only few visited our website, then it steadily increased from hundreds to thousands, especially following Hurricane Sandy. Today, more than 20,000 Patersonians read our articles, every month. What would we have done without you? We thank all our readers for relying on us for information; we would probably have gone out of existence if you did not visit us. We especially thank those who wished us a happy birthday two days ago — the Facebook has a different founding date.
We’ve made many changes throughout the website: from reducing the advertising rates, making it easier for local businesses to advertise to reach local customers, to reorganizing the categories, making it a more pleasant experience to navigate the site.
In the next year, we intend to expand our coverage into areas, that until now, we have very much avoided, and for good reasons. After spending an entire year perfecting a platform and reporting only soft news, this digital newspaper intends to expand its coverage to local politics in the coming year as the intense mayoral race looms ahead.
Thank you for reading us Patersonians!