We Really Like Reading Print
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Todd McGreevy   
Wednesday, 22 October 2008 02:14

Fifteen years later, the Reader is still afflicting the comforted and comforting the afflicted. This is true, thanks in no small part to you, the loyal reader. The Reader began its independent publishing career in October 1993 and was a monthly publication for 20 months before converting to a weekly edition in the summer of 1995. The Reader is picked up at more than 700 distribution locations every week throughout the entire Illinois and Iowa Quad Cities region and enjoys a printed circulation between 17,500 and 20,000 each week.

Over the years Quad Citians have witnessed several attempts by both the daily newspapers and other indie startups to mimic our format, produce an events calendar like ours, and move papers on our own racks. Despite an effort to look like the Reader and garner our advertisers who make this rag possible, they've all tried and they've all failed. Maybe it has something to do with content?

When we first started, we visited a then-five-year-old weekly alternative in Memphis, Tennessee - the Flyer. I will never forget the words of encouragement we received during that visit. "No matter what you do, do it well, and do it consistently, like water on a rock," we were advised. Fifteen years later we are still standing.

Looking ahead 15 years is something that most of us don't do every day, and we should all probably do more often. Where will the Reader be in 15 years? The bigger question is: "Where will news media in general be in 15 years?" Will you still pick up your Reader at your local grocery store, coffee shop, record store, or favorite restaurant? Or will you get your Reader in an on-demand custom digital platform wherever you are in the world? Or a combination of both? It is tough to be certain.

What is certain is that, despite the trying and tumultuous times we live in, it is an exciting time to be alive and participate in creating our modern history. We will always strive to ensure that the free, independent press is alive and kicking to help you enjoy life to its fullest.

Be sure to check out the advertisement for our 15th Anniversary Party this Thursday, October 23, at the Capitol Theatre in Davenport, on the back page. You will be sure to run into old and new friends, co-workers, customers, and vendors from around the region. Live music will be provided by some of this region's best indie bands, and you can sample hand-crafted brews from your local breweries. The Reader staff is cooking up prize packages I know nothing about, so it should be very interesting.

Those who know me have heard me say, "We have an embarrassment of riches here," in the Quad Cities. We hope to do our small part to keep it that way and to that end the proceeds from your $3 admission will go to United Way's Imagination Library which promotes literacy in children 0-5 years old in the Quad Cities.

We like reading - a lot. And we're glad you do, too. Thanks for 15 great years.

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