Steve Levene
Steve Levene

As a Sandy Springs homeowner 10 years ago, I wanted information about services the new city would provide.  My first instinct was to look for it in a local newspaper, but I found only limited coverage of what, at the time, was big news for my neighborhood.  It seemed that we needed a paper of our own, focusing on everything that was happening in our new community.   So, I put my publishing experience to work and, with the help of some family and friends, started Reporter Newspapers.

The first two Reporter editions rolled off the press in January 2007 and served Sandy Springs and Buckhead  (both shared borders, main roads and even ZIP codes.) Today, our five “hyperlocal” publications—now also covering Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Atlanta’s bustling intown neighborhoods—reach some of the metro area’s most diverse and dynamic communities.

From the beginning, our mission was to provide readers with fresh and engaging information about their communities. That’s still our mission today and, based on your generous feedback, we’ve come a long way toward meeting that goal. In our first survey last year, readers told us that Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown are their preferred sources for news about a broad range of topics of most interest across all the communities.

Our local roots and focus are at the core of everything we do. Some of our best stories over the years have come from local people and places: friends talking at the Saturday farmer’s market, a homeowner’s group addressing a city council meeting, a school PTA fundraiser, a neighborhood business owner. Usually, the local matters we cover don’t make the headlines of the daily newspaper or fit the sound bites of radio and television news. Nor do they pop up in a Google search. Yet, they are the cornerstone of our mission.

As we start our 10th publishing year, a decade is a meaningful time span to measure any company’s progress. (According to the Small Business Administration, only one in three new businesses survives for 10 or more years.) Growing over the past several years in our segment of the media industry is particularly significant because the printed word seems so 20th century in a digitally-driven universe drenched with information. I’m grateful for the avid readers who tell us they appreciate our coverage—and the scores of advertisers whose commitments have enabled us to expand our efforts.

A local focus allows advertisers to market cost-effectively to customers within a few miles of where their businesses are located. Today, more than 500 advertisers use one or more of our papers to promote their products and services, and we encourage you to patronize them, which fosters a vibrant local economy.

Many of our readers tell us “the paper looks great.” To that end, we’re always looking for ways to create a more readable and colorful publication, including the design changes introduced in this issue.  If you like the look and content of your Reporter or have an idea for improving it, please let me know. We value your input and use it to remain focused.

Our initial mission is still intact, fueled by the enthusiasm of a talented and experienced staff.  As a new year begins, let me say thank you to our readers and advertisers for helping our business to grow and serve your community.

Steve Levene

Steve Levene is the founder and former publisher of Reporter Newspapers.