A Long Island publisher who got her start in the newspaper business by delivering papers is once again delivering them out of the back of her car. The difference now is that she owns the paper.
Her local news website on the East End has gone against the tide and launched a print edition.
Beth Young, founder, publisher, and editor of the East End Beacon, launched the website four years ago, when she saw a hole in the market.
“There is no regional newspaper on the East End of Long Island. I’ve covered every town out here, which is a rarity. And it’s nice to have something where you can say hey, this town is doing this and this town is just starting to deal with this problem and this is how it was done over here.”
Her readers loved what she was doing, generating over 12,000 page views a month. But when talking to other residents who were potential readers, she got surprising feedback.
“I’ve been telling people about the website and they say when you have a hard copy, bring it to me. I’d love to read it in print. And then they don’t look at the website. And that was a shocking experience to me. I expected everyone to want to go online. And that’s not the case out here.”
So Beth bit the bullet, and decided to publish a monthly newspaper to supplement the website.
“Well, the online edition is updated every day. So as far as that goes, I think that’s right about at a level that I feel comfortable sustaining for the long run. The print edition is really that is meant to be something like slow news, like the slow food movement.”
Which she says is key to her success. Readers want something to savor and enjoy.
“The pace here is a little more laid back, and people come here, they read the newspaper on the weekends, so they are looking for something that’s, you know, very much like the Sunday New York Times, that you can spend all day with and really sink your teeth into.”
So now that Beth has launched the print edition, she has a huge staff working for her, right?
“I have about five freelance writers working with me now. I have about 10 more that applied in the past week that I have to call back that have some great ideas. You know, everybody pulls in about a story a month or so, and the quality is the focus.”
Beth says the initial run of 5,000 copies of the print edition of the East End Beacon has been well received. It’s available at stores throughout the Twin Forks.