OpEd: Racine County Eye to reach 5 millionth pageview next week

Racine County Eye to reach 5 million page views.

So that graphic above is quite humbling to me.

Next week, Racine County Eye will likely see our 5 millionth page view. We’ve also had 1.3 million users… all in 4 1/2 years. When Heather Asiyanbi and I started the site, we were thinking of ways to help our community by keeping our news free and you showed up consistently to support community journalism.

Even though Heather and I parted ways as business partners in November 2016, she remains a great friend and support system. And I don’t think we would have been crazy enough to have done this alone. So thanks for taking the plunge with me.

The vision: Be a platform for the community, tell the truth, and help our community. Simple stuff, right? No. It’s not. It takes time to develop credibility, an audience, advertisers, and a sustainable business model. And we did it together with the community.

So this moment isn’t about RCE as much as it is about the unprecedented support the site has had since day one. The community really wanted and needed a better way to connect and we were honored to get to do the work we do.

Five years ago Ralph Malicki, the owner of Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly, called Heather and I over to his store after we were laid off from Patch. He asked us to keep writing about community news. He helped us find amazing people like Jen Adamski-Torres, who helped us set up our website, and Rebecca Mason, who helped us form the company.

And the support continued.

Janine Anderson, Mark Maley, and Sherry Skalko Hood — all past editors of mine — have been my go-to editors when my stories needed a few more pairs of eyes.  All of you are amazing and I couldn’t do this without you. All three of them have held me accountable by helping me adhere to the best practices in our industry.

Racine County Eye has enjoyed fabulous relationships with our advertisers and our readers. I am extremely grateful to have a Trudy Coombs, my marketing and sales director. She has helped to grow our company into a sustainable news organization. I would not be able to do what I do without her.

Over the years so many others have contributed to the site: Kate Martin, Chester Todd, Michael Constantine, Paul Holley, Mark Hertzberg, Katie Singer, Camela Langendorf, Matt Binetti, Jacki Zach, and Katie Tiderman. All of you have helped RCE grow and connect with the community.

I am also grateful that Rex Davenport, RCE’s newest writer. He will continue to help us find stories that matter to Racine County.

So what’s next for Racine County Eye? A ton…

We belong to a professional organization called the Local Independent Online News Association. And we just received an investigative journalism grant from them. So we’ll be working on a series of stories about barriers to employment. We also just received a matching grant from the Racine County Economic Development Corporation to help us market our Eye on Employment page. And we were named a finalist for a grant from the Community Listening and Engagement Fund.
This is all part of the vision to bring more solutions-based journalism to Racine County around topics that matter.

But my real reason for writing this was to say thank you to all of you for your support over the years — reading, contributing, sharing, and buying ads and subscriptions. You gave and continue to give us the opportunity to serve this community every single day. And for that… you ROCK Racine County.


Since you’re here…

SubscribeWe have a favor to ask. We want access to our stories to remain free for everyone, so we haven’t put up a paywall to block our content. But we need your help! Producing our content requires lots of hard work and money, but we believe it’s 100% worth it and so we’re inviting you to support our mission by funding it.

Also, Racine County Eye received an investigative journalism grant from the Local Independent Online News publishers’ association and the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation. Now we are looking for our community to match this $1,500 grant. Please consider making your contribution today at either $5, $10 or $20/month. We’ve got goodies galore for you too. Interested, click here.



Since you’re here…

SubscribeWe have a favor to ask. We want access to our stories to remain free for everyone, so we haven’t put up a paywall to block our content. But we need your help! Producing our content requires lots of hard work and money, but we believe it’s 100% worth it and so we’re inviting you to support our mission by funding it.

Also, Racine County Eye received an investigative journalism grant from the Local Independent Online News publishers’ association and the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation. Now we are looking for our community to match this $1,500 grant. Please consider making your contribution today at either $5, $10 or $20/month. We’ve got goodies galore for you too. Interested, click here.


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About Denise Lockwood 3216 Articles
Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.