Sixteen years of holding public officials accountable to the public

275-evolutionFriday March 18th marked sixteen years since the first issue of Historic City News rolled off the virtual presses — a fast growing weekly news journal delivered by e-mail without all the smudges and dirty fingers.

Fiercely independent from day one, Historic City News gained a reputation for calling-a-spade-a-spade and building a reliable network of sources close to business, government, and politics that are laser focused on St Augustine and St Johns County.

“It is important to me that we not poison the earth with ink contaminants or contribute to the burgeoning landfills; and, despite temptation, we’ve been able to evolve into a totally paperless operation very quickly,” Chief Editor Michael Gold wrote in 2008 when our publication began its interactive online edition.

Sponsors and advertisers have picked up the cost of gathering, editing and publishing more than 100,000 news articles, public records, and photographs since 2000. We have never charged our readers a subscription fee and make our content available for every reader, free of charge, whether they subscribe to Weekday Issue or read our full articles at historiccity.com on their smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer at work.

“Philosophically I don’t think it is right to charge advertisers to deliver their ads to our readers — and then charge our readers to receive those ads,” Gold says of the Historic City News business model. “Our local audience is very engaged. They trade with our advertisers and appreciate our sponsors who feel it is important to support an independent free press. We are a strong local community in the truest sense.”

Historic City News already counts thousands of daily interactions with followers on twitter, professionals on Linkedin, and more than 5,000 facebook fans. We currently publish to more than 18,000 opt-in e-mail subscribers and will announce that we’ve enrolled our 20,000th subscriber before the end of this year.

We must be doing something right. Thank you for the privilege of allowing our small business to serve you for the past 16-years.

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