From the Publisher’s (make that the CEO’s) Desk: Change is good

Teresa Wippel speaking to the Rotary Club of Edmonds Aug. 1. (Photo courtesy Alex Duncan)

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, said that “change is the only constant in life.” Change can be good, but it can also be disruptive, challenging and sometimes downright scary. I think about this often as I’m making the transition to my new job as president and CEO of our online nonprofit news organization, which we officially launched with a celebration at the end of June.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written about this transition, so I wanted to give readers an update.

First, a recap of the reason for this change: As the founder and publisher of this news organization since 2009, I believe it will ensure the longevity of our publications beyond me. Our new nonprofit status better reflects our work – which is solidified in the My Neighborhood News Network mission statement:

To create a financially sustainable nonprofit news organization focused on civic education and engagement for all stakeholders — including those who have been traditionally underrepresented — and finding solutions for issues that matter to our communities.

What I’ve come to realize, after 14 years, is that the My Neighborhood News Network is much bigger than the person who has held the title of publisher. Our communities deserve a long-term commitment to community news that goes beyond one individual. And that means going beyond the traditional way that news organizations have been operated and funded – as for-profit enterprises solely dependent on advertising and reader donations.

I’ve mentioned in earlier communications that we welcomed ideas from readers about what they want us to focus on as we build our nonprofit news organization, and you can still share your responses at this link. We will use these ideas to guide us as we develop our future plans for news coverage, staffing and grant applications.

Our nonprofit all-volunteer board of directors is also hard at work developing fundraising and grantwriting strategies.

One of our first priorities is to connect with underserved communities in South Snohomish County and figure out how we can improve our engagement with individuals, neighborhoods and groups that may not feel well-served by the mainstream news media. This will be intensive, long-term work that will require dedicated funding, and we are hoping to secure grants for that effort.

There is another major change in the works, which is somewhat related to headline above. As president and CEO of the My Neighborhood News Network, my job is  to oversee both the transition to, and operation of, that new organization. That is a challenging task when I have also been serving as the editor and publisher of three digital community news properties seven days a week. I am thrilled to share that we have hired a managing editor — our first true employee — who will be starting at the end of August. (Look for more details on that later this month.)

The two of us will work closely together during this transition, and be assured that I am not completely giving up all editorial tasks — at least for a while. I have 14 years’ worth of experience to download, and I know it won’t happen overnight. But the goal is to free up my time so that I can focus on planning, development and big-picture thinking.

Two caveats: I will continue to cover Edmonds City Council meetings, although I may occasionally delegate that task if necessary. And I will also continue to moderate the comment section of all three web properties.

So yes, change can be scary. But in our case, it is good news — not only for our organization, but for the communities we cover. As I told members of the Rotary Club of Edmonds during a presentation earlier this month, I am so excited about this change I can hardly stand it. Converting to nonprofit status opens the door to additional sources of financial support while still allowing us to accept advertising from our valued sponsors – many of whom have been with us for many years. Those additional financial resources will strengthen our longstanding commitment to serving our community, providing for broader and deeper coverage of issues that matter to our readers — from housing to transportation to the environment to education to public safety.

In closing, I invite you to help us build this new nonprofit. Financial donations can be made here.

With gratitude,

Teresa Wippel, President and CEO
My Neighborhood News Network




  1. Teresa, your work and dedication over the years has been of great benefit to all of us in this area. We appreciate your passion and energy. May this new transition be a great success. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.