In this day and age, people are accustomed to having an unlimited amount of national news readily available at their fingertips. But what about truly local news?
Today, a merger between two well-known media outlets will erupt into a hyperlocal Web sensation bringing Kosciusko County residents their only truly local source for up-to-the-minute news and sports coverage and hard-hitting journalism.
Until now, Kosciusko County residents have largely had to rely upon outside news agencies to get the most current information on what’s happening here, in our own back yard. In 2009, however, that changed with the introduction of NewsWithStaceyPage.com, which later became StaceyPageNews.com.
Page, who had been reporting local news in the county since 1988 via newspaper and radio, started the first and only hyperlocal news site in our area. The site was best known for breaking news events and hard-hitting reporting that dared to go beyond the surface of the story.
In the two years Page operated her news site she realized a huge following, even seeing more than 50,000 unique views per month. “The site itself was widely successful, which told me I had found a niche that catered to what people here wanted, which was up-to-the-minute news and honest reporting. Unfortunately, it was simply too much for one person,” admits Page. “The pressure of keeping up with news 24/7 took its toll on me. I shut the site down on the second anniversary to take some much needed time off.”
Page was actually already in the planning stages of bringing the Web site back on a part-time basis when Ron Baumgartner, owner of The Papers Inc. in Milford, reached out to her with a proposal. Page explains, “We began talking about the possibility of joining forces and how, together, we could provide a much needed service to Kosciusko County. As it turns out, we had parallel visions.”
Baumgartner adds, “Stacey had quickly developed a large and loyal audience of devoted followers on her news site since its inception. We are now teaming up with Stacey, coming online with a reformatted dynamic website – StaceyPageOnline.com – to bring you online spontaneous Kosciusko County news, photos and videos as events happen. With Stacey’s ever-present coverage and The Papers support, we hope to reach and continue to build a vast online audience in the county and make StaceyPageOnline.com everyone’s home page.”
Having worked for The Papers as a reporter and then assistant editor for a total of 18 years, Page says, “I gained a great respect for Ron and how he runs his business. I’m thrilled to be back at The Papers and part of this technological venture that is sure to take the county by storm.”
Kip Schumm, director of marketing at The Papers, is also looking forward to the venture. “We at The Papers are excited to bring an electronic daily newspaper to people who want to know up-to-the-minute happenings in Kosciusko County. This website will be accessible free of charge to anyone at any time. Viewers will find everything from breaking news stories to coverage on local events, traffic reports, court news, obituaries and school sports – when and as they happen! See the pictures, watch the videos and read the details.
“We are pleased to join forces with Stacey Page, a familiar name in journalism to many throughout Kosciusko County, in order to provide you with the latest truly local news you need and want to know.”
Sports fans will appreciate 24/7 local sports coverage including stats, features, photos and game coverage of Warsaw, Tippecanoe Valley, Wawasee, Triton and Whitko schools, and even Lakeland Christian Academy and Grace College. Even elementary and middle school athletes will have opportunities to make the news.
Scott Davidson is taking the reigns as sports editor and is no stranger to Kosciusko County. Prior to his latest 11-year sports writing career with the South Bend Tribune, Davidson, like Page, began his writing career at The Papers covering area sports. He went on to other area newspapers before
settling in at South Bend.
Davidson, the 2010 Forrest Woody Miller award winner, is excited about making the move to online news: “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to give Kosciusko County in-depth and broad sports coverage ranging from elementary to the college level. It’s exciting to be able to bring area sports fans the latest and most up-to-date scores, game coverage and features with this type of media that before now wasn’t offered in Kosciusko County.”
“I’m excited about working with Scott again after all these years,” Page says. “He already knows the area and has the sports knowledge and contacts necessary for making StaceyPageOnline.com the leader in local sports coverage. I’m also happy to announce that there is another popular name in local media who we’ll be working with.”
Many will remember Charlie Adams as a sports broadcaster who appeared on broadcast TV in the South Bend market for nearly 16 years. Today Adams is a motivational speaker with a passion for helping young athletes realize their dreams. Says Baumgartner, “Like Page, Adams has an impressive list of journalism awards and accomplishments and we’re pleased he has agreed to provide an informational column for the website that will focus on motivation and helping high school athletes find scholarships for college. That’s just one more unique feature you can’t get anywhere in Kosciusko County except at StaceyPageOnline.com.”
Every feature of the Web site will be accessible free of charge to viewers. Obituaries, news, sports, letters to the editor, court news, jail bookings and many more special features will all be viewable without a subscription. “Like ‘the PAPER,’ the Web site will be reliant upon advertising to keep it free, and we’re working on a vast selection of opportunities for everyone,” explains Schumm.
“Court records, obituaries and even city and town meetings are all a matter of public record and should be and will be free to read on StaceyPageOnline.com,” Page adds. “The purpose of this hyperlocal news site is to keep county residents informed with unbiased reporting, to provide them with entertainment, to keep them aware of local advertisers and really to just be their true community daily newspaper.”
The mission of this new partnership is to get readers to think of StaceyPageOnline.com first for all of their local news information and even encourage them to be a part of the process. Page explains, “My cell phone and email address will be published and I encourage people to report news they see happening at any time of the day or night. Text me, call me, email me a video … it’s all part of making it the most up-to-the-minute news site in Kosciusko County.”
The joining of forces with The Papers means the editorial staff of The Papers and The Mail-Journal will also be submitting news coverage to StaceyPageOnline.com. Baumgartner explains, “The Paper and The Mail-Journal are two weekly publications that we produce. Our reporters cover county boards and commissions, Wawasee sports and news and features especially in the northern part of the county. We’ll now have access to get that news out to the readers almost immediately while still providing a tangible newspaper with more in-depth coverage and the standard features people have come to
rely upon from those publications. This is a win-win situation for everyone involved, including our advertisers who will get even more exposure.”
StaceyPageOnline.com, Kosciusko County’s digital daily newspaper, will be accessible from your computer, smart phone, iPad and anywhere else you can access the Internet. Save the site to your “favorites,” sign up to receive breaking news tweets through Twitter by following @SPageOnline, and “Like” Stacey Page Online on Facebook where news tidbits will be featured and available for discussion every day.
Got a news tip? Add [email protected] to your email contacts, or call or text her at (574) 453-1523.