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From the Publisher's Desk


Dear Readers,

Good day to each and every one of you, the backbone of our West Plains Daily Quill. If I could share a heartfelt handshake with each of you, I would. Such is the profound gratitude I feel toward the myriad readers who have been the wind beneath our wings, especially during times of transition.

The overwhelming warmth and support you've expressed regarding the return of the West Plains Gazette have touched our hearts in ways words can barely capture.

Today, as we delve into our cherished "From the West Plains Gazette Archives," a poignant letter penned by publisher Russ Cochran resonates, detailing the sunset of the original gazette. Although the Quill's revival isn't a mirror reflection of what once was, our commitment to echoing the essence and spirit of the original Gazette remains unwavering. We hope that every edition reminds you of the rich tapestry of memories and traditions it encapsulated.

Now, on to a slightly pressing matter, beautifully illustrated by one of our vigilant readers. This reader's heartfelt letter was an expression of positivity with a hint of rightful skepticism. The central concern? A perceived lack of transparency from my end about our transformation to a dominantly digital product. And you know what? You deserve clarity.

To address the proverbial elephant in the room: Yes, I have sidestepped discussions about the fiscal drivers behind our decision. This omission wasn't a veiled attempt at deceit; rather, I passionately wanted our narrative to be one of optimism and evolution. But in the spirit of transparency, let's confront those numbers head-on.

Over the past three years, we've grappled with a 30% surge in postage costs and a staggering 60% rise in printing expenses. While we have recalibrated our rates, they haven’t kept pace with these escalating overheads.

Yet, and I cannot stress this enough, our pivot to digital isn't a grand scheme to line our pockets. It's not born out of greed, but sheer necessity. It’s our way of ensuring the West Plains Daily Quill remains afloat, faithfully serving the West Plains community.

Have we nailed this transition flawlessly? Candidly, no. The intricacies of digital publishing, including formatting puzzles and comics, have proven challenging. We're listening to you when you say that the comics in the Gazette could do with a bit more clarity. Balancing the beloved puzzles and comics is akin to treading a tightrope. But rest assured, every critique only fuels our fervor to enhance your reading experience.

It's also worth emphasizing that this evolution hasn’t been a ticket to an easier life for the team. On the contrary, every individual at the Quill is pouring more sweat and soul into our craft than ever before. Every pixel adjusted, every article penned, every issue released is a testament to our dedication.

The West Plains Daily Quill is more than just ink and paper or pixels on a screen. It's a tapestry woven with threads of community sentiment, shared memories, and an unwavering commitment to journalism. It isn't my paper. It's yours. And that's a truth that I hold close to my heart every single day.

Warm regards,
Chris Herbolsheimer
West Plains Daily Quill & West Plains Gazette