The Good Old Days Are Here and Now!

Steve Strickbine

As a kid growing up in Valley I had a morning paper route. Every Sunday, my counterparts and I would embark on the toughest assignment of the week: tossing that massive brick of Sunday news onto neighborhood driveways. To say the Sunday paper was big back then is an understatement along the lines of saying the Phoenix Suns are pretty good.

That monstrosity was so fat, I could only lug about 18 at a time on my bike. Every Sunday was a guaranteed five-trip morning.

The Sunday paper was chock full of ads – and, more importantly, great stories. That’s always been the best part of journalism for me: The stories we get to tell about our neighbors and leaders, about those making a difference, those suffering and those just enjoying life. In detailing the who, what, when, where and why of daily life in the place we call home, newspapers have always seemed to me like the glue holding the community together.

Years later, I find myself still convinced that the community newspaper is a marvel, because of all the things newspapers can do that other forms of media cannot. Don’t get me wrong – as a newspaper publisher, I’m far too aware of the challenges newspapers face as an industry. The days of five-pound Sunday newspapers are long past, and every week there’s another survey or story about the impending death of local news.

As you might suspect, I firmly disagree. If you’ll pardon my pun, I think there’s a bigger story here – a good news story about the state of journalism that’s rarely being told.

Community stories and news about our local areas have never been more important or in greater demand. We crave local news – interesting information, tales about people making a difference, and notification of what’s going on around us and why it’s important. The biggest difference is the way this news reaches end users.

I’ve witnessed changes in the way we gather and report the news. As I pen this column, a news reporter is hosting an interview with a source via Zoom in a meeting room next to me, saving gas, the frustration of traffic snarls, and our most important resource, time.

Back in the day, it came delivered only on our driveway in print. Now, in addition to driveway delivery, it comes to us digitally, on laptops, phones and iPads.

My company, Times Media Group, welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to our websites every week. And more than 350,000 homes have requested to receive our digital flip-book edition, which happily arrives every Tuesday with a ding instead of a thud. That’s all in addition to the 300,000 that hit driveways and racks throughout the Valley. And starting today, and every Sunday hereafter, 20,000 copies will hit driveways right here in Queen Creek.

All of which brings me to why I had the crazy idea of starting a newspaper in one of the fastest-growing communities in Arizona. Frankly, I don’t think it’s crazy at all. Every day, Queen Creek continues to grow up and make news – and every day from now on, the Queen Creek Tribune will be there to cover it. If you see something you like, let us know. If there’s something you’d like to see or something we could do better, please drop me a line. We’re here to serve you.

As this is a free publication, we encourage you to be good patrons of our advertisers, who are the reason we can provide this great and important service.

Please visit us online at QueenCreekTribune.com where, like 350,000 other Valley residents, you can opt in to receive your own community weekly edition in your email inbox.

Finally, thank you for the opportunity to provide this important community service. Back in the day, I used to deliver the first Sunday paper every week to my mom – in part to let her know I hadn’t overslept and to give her a chance to read the news hot off the press.

I still get a tremendous kick out of our role in the news process, and making sure that great stories find their way to readers across the community. There’s truly nothing else I’d rather be doing.

Enjoy, and we’ll see you next week!

Steve Strickbine is a Valley native and renegade entrepreneur who refuses to let the rhetoric of a negative world tamp his ambition or spoil his day. Steve believes in the power of the economic freedom in our great country, and he thanks you from the bottom of his heart for reading! You can reach him via email at: Steve@TimesLocalMedia.com.