Eighth Monthly Milestone Message

Autumn, winter, ... and now SPRINGTIME at The Chronicle
Mary Morgan, Ann Arbor Chronicle publisher

Mary Morgan, Ann Arbor Chronicle publisher

Walking home in the drenching rain last week, soaked to the bone and feeling a little sorry for myself, I noted that at least I wasn’t cold – it finally felt like spring. And spring marks the third season of the year for The Ann Arbor Chronicle, another milestone as we check in with our eighth monthly update to readers.

This month we have a few things on the horizon, plus a reminder and some thank yous.

Talking the Talk

Ever since I fell into the orchestra pit during my high school’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” I’ve had no fear of public speaking – what could possibly be worse than that? (Well, once my leg fell asleep waiting to speak at a ceremony in college, and when I got out of my seat I toppled into the lap of the president of Indiana University – but that’s another story.)

Since launching The Chronicle last year, I’ve had the chance to speak to many community groups about the future of local news. Interest in the topic has heightened since mid-March, when the Ann Arbor News announced its plans to close, while its owners set out to start a new, primarily online business, AnnArbor.com.

In May I’ll participate in some additional public forums where I’ll do my best not to careen unintentionally into the audience. If you’re interested in these topics, I hope you’ll drop by – it’s always great to meet Chronicle readers in person.

On Wednesday, May 13, I’ll be speaking to LA2M (Lunch Ann Arbor Marketing), a group of local marketing professionals who meet each Wednesday from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Conor O’Neill’s. I’ll draw from my experience of 12 years at The Ann Arbor News as well as our entrepreneurial journey with The Ann Arbor Chronicle to talk about the media landscape and what the future might hold for the coverage of local news. The event is open to anyone – there’s no charge, but you’ll need to pay for your own lunch.

Later that week, the Women’s Exchange of Washtenaw is holding a daylong forum on Friday, May 15. At 1:15 p.m. I’ll be moderating a panel discussion of local business leaders: Debi Scroggins, CEO of Bearclaw Coffee; Maria Thompson, president of the Government Solutions Group of A123Systems, Inc. (formerly T/J Technologies, Inc.); and  Kimberly Cumming, executive director of The Women’s Center of Southeastern Michigan. These women are sharp and savvy, and I expect we’ll have a provocative exchange about the challenges and bliss of starting and running a business or nonprofit. (The WXW website has details about other sessions, as well as cost.)

And at this month’s annual Ann Arbor Book Festival, I’ll be part of a panel discussion on the future of newspapers. I’m looking forward to hearing other panelists’ perspectives on that issue. The forum will be moderated by my former colleague Jim Knight, managing editor of The Ann Arbor News. Other panelists are John Beckett of OpinionArtillery.org, Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press and Niall Stanage, a reporter and author of Redemption Song: An Irish Reporter Inside the Obama Campaign. That event will be at the Michgian League’s Hussey Stage on Saturday, May 16, starting at noon.

Weekly Chronicle E-mail

If you aren’t able to keep up with a daily dose of The Chronicle, but you want to make sure that you don’t miss anything, you might want to sign up for our weekly e-mail, which provides brief descriptions of articles from the previous week and direct links to those articles. The update includes links to our popular Stopped.Watched section, as well as the week’s New Media Watch and Old Media Watch items and a link to our advertisers.

These e-mails go out each Saturday. If you’d like to sign up, just send an note to me (mary.morgan@annarborchronicle.com) or Dave Askins (dave.askins@annarborchronicle.com) and we’ll add you to our list.

Welcome to New Advertisers, and Thanks to Long-Timers

As always, we want to give a shout out to the local businesses and organizations that support us with their advertising dollars, as well as to readers who contribute their equivalent of a voluntary subscription via our Tip Jar. Since last month’s milestone message, we’ve had several new advertisers sign up – we welcome them, and urge you to consider them as you shop, look for entertainment, seek lodging for visitors, and decide where to allocate your philanthropic giving. New within the past month are:

As we welcome new advertisers, we also want to recognize and thank advertisers who’ve been with us before – some of them, like the Bank of Ann Arbor, Books by Chance, Ann Arbor Public Schools and Ypsilanti Public Schools, have been with us since nearly the beginning of our venture in September 2008. That’s huge. We could not continue to do what we do without that kind of long-term support. So  if you find value in our work, you have our advertisers to thank for making it possible. Check out our complete list of advertisers here. If  you’ve seen their ads on The Chronicle and it prompts you to patronize their business, please let them know that we played a role in that.

Finally, I’d like to thank every reader who has offered up a word of encouragement, a suggestion, a correction or clarification, a comment, a joke, a poke – either in person, on our site, via e-mail, Twitter or Facebook.

It’s springtime at The Chronicle, and you’ve helped us get this far.


  1. By Leah Gunn
    May 2, 2009 at 6:19 pm | permalink

    Okay you loyal readers – go to the top, scroll to the right and click on TIP JAR. Show your support for the Chronicle in a meaningful way!

  2. By William Lockwood
    May 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm | permalink

    I agree Leah. This is certainly the time to support this great new local news source. The tip jar is open and eager for our help. Make your contribution to this on-line newspaper just as you do for public radio.

  3. May 3, 2009 at 1:09 pm | permalink

    I couldn’t agree more with the two previous commentators. I believe that we are indeed very lucky to have the “Ann Arbor Chronicle” appear in our midst–so timely, accurate, detailed, and interesting. Plus, it always seems to strike just the right tone. Mary and Dave are doing an outstanding job, and we have the wonderful opportunity to support their work right from the beginning by contributing through the Tip Jar.

  4. By Kristin Judge
    May 3, 2009 at 10:08 pm | permalink

    Heading to the tip jar right now. This will be the newspaper of the Ann Arbor area for the next 8 years – not merely months. Mary and Dave are honest, thorough and talented writers. If this is the future of journalism, I am looking forward to the future.

  5. By Alan Goldsmith
    May 4, 2009 at 6:49 am | permalink

    It makes me nervous when politicians are cheerleanders for a news publication.

    I might donate more if/when politicians are attacking you. Lol.

  6. By Leah Gunn
    May 4, 2009 at 9:18 am | permalink

    okay, Alan – consider this an ATTACK!

    Seriously, I have been active in politics for many, many years and what I appreciate about The Chronicle is the ACCURACY of the reporting. When I have read the AA News, I have often wondered, “Did the reporter attend the same meeting I did?”. That is why I appreciate Dave and Mary so much. In addition to reporting on government meetings, they have a lot of other features that I enjoy, such as Stopped Watched and the articles by guests such as Joel Goldberg on wine, Del Dunbar on taxes (although I must say I don’t agree with his premise)as well as the coverage of local happenings.

    The Chronicle has become the news source of record (I almost slipped and said “newspaper”) for our community.

    Also, you might consider that we politicians are public servants, trying to do our best in tough times.

  7. By Dusty Lake
    May 4, 2009 at 11:15 am | permalink

    Ms. Gunn makes a good point. The people who serve in local government are just a step away from being regular citizens. The difference is they stepped up to help the community. They didn’t become different people, they didn’t go on the “take” but they gained a much deeper knowledge of how government works and the challenges faced.

    I think we need to give our local (and state and national) elected representatives a whole lot of thanks and credit for what they do.

    We need to elect good people and let them go to work. I don’t expect to agree with them all the time, they have to balance decisions on what is best for the most people for the long run. Sometimes we, the public gets too caught up in the short cycle. In the end many of the decisions they have to make are going to make some people upset. There is no way around it.

    I also acknowledge they know more about issues than the public does.

    If they learn about an issue, think about an issue and make a decision based on all the information they have at the time, I don’t expect them to make me happy every time but I will continue to support them.

  8. By LauraB
    May 4, 2009 at 12:51 pm | permalink

    Good luck Chronicle!

  9. May 4, 2009 at 2:13 pm | permalink

    I appreciate the way the Chronicle covers discussion, both by the members of the elected or appointed board being reported, and by the public who comment. It is much superior to what I have seen in some other venues, where only “zingers” are reported. I haven’t actually done the test of attending a meeting and then reading the report of it, but I have the impression that coverage is sufficient to give one a real sense of what was happening – not just the vote taken, but the issues and reasoning that lead up to it. And it is great to have access to documents being cited also.

  10. By Alan Goldsmith
    May 4, 2009 at 3:06 pm | permalink


    Attack away. But keep in mind I voted for you and will no doubt do so again in the future. Lol.

    I love the A2 Chronicle and the service it provides and have donated to the Tip Jar a couple of times. It’s a great resource and will be even more so when the A2 News folds in a couple of months. But the city, the county, and the country are heading down a dangerous road if there is not some form of free press keeping an eye on elected officials. Especially with the News no longer around. You can praise the Chronicle all you want and I agree with you. Maybe the Chronicle never intents to do any hard edged investigative journalism that will piss off local pols. But if SOMEONE doesn’t, we are all in big trouble.

    Don’t make me defend the Ann Arbor News…please. But investigative reporting is more than reporting ‘zingers’.