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Home / Articles / Views / Stew's Views /  The work that makes a difference
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Thursday, January 31,2013

The work that makes a difference

By Stewart Sallo
Photo by Susan France
Publisher Stewart Sallo

“How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.”

– Anne Frank (1929-1945)

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

– Margaret Mead (1902-1978)

Over the course of almost 20 years and 1,000 editions, hundreds of talented individuals have worked for Boulder Weekly. Some, like our immensely talented art director, Susan France, have made Boulder Weekly the centerpiece of their life’s work (Susan will celebrate her 20th anniversary as a Boulder Weekly employee this coming August); others, like our editor, Joel Dyer — who was here at the very beginning, took a decade or so hiatus and then rejoined the paper in 2011 — have used Boulder Weekly as a platform to launch other successful projects ( Joel expanded several subjects he wrote about for Boulder Weekly into a number of critically acclaimed books and, later, founded the Fort Collins Weekly, which he eventually sold to a daily newspaper chain). Still others, like our circulation manager, Cal Winn, were drawn to the Weekly by a mysterious force that belies logic; and then there is our accountant, Benecia Beyer, who moved more than 1,000 miles away and back again, maintaining her job at Boulder Weekly at all costs and despite the formidable logistical obstacles she faced in her personal life. And some, like one of our longstanding distributors, Elizabeth Ousley, love nothing more than to get up early every Saturday morning from April through November to greet people and personally deliver to them the latest edition of Boulder Weekly at the Boulder County Farmers’ Market.

Over the years Boulder Weekly employees have left and come back, given birth and returned to work, been threatened in our offices by impassioned, gun-wielding readers, worked into the wee hours of the night getting the paper to press, endured inadequate computers and other antiquated IT equipment (and during the early years donated their own computers to the office), battled well-funded competitors who wanted nothing more than to see us fail and disappear from the marketplace, and dealt with an at-times mercurial publisher who came to Boulder 20 years ago with a heart full of dreams, pockets that were not nearly deep enough, and for whom failure was never an option.

These remarkable individuals who have given so generously of themselves to bring forth an edition of Boulder Weekly every week for 1,000 weeks could have chosen to work in a less stressful environment with more lavish amenities and for more money — in some cases a lot more money. But there exists a common thread that lives, burns, in each and every one of us who has been a part of this amazing 1,000week journey. It is a common thread more powerful than money, more compelling than “greener grass,” more incentivizing than fear, more comforting than sleep, more appealing than convenience, and more influential than lies.

The teams, past and present, that have brought Boulder Weekly to you every week care first and foremost about the work that we do. For it is the work we do that enables us to find and fulfill our very purpose in this life. And that purpose, as Anne Frank and Margaret Mead so poignantly and simply put forth, is to improve and change the world.

One would be hard-pressed to find an issue or cause that Boulder Weekly has not taken up over the course of 1,000 weeks. Pollution of the environment, the plight of the homeless, inhumane treatment of prison inmates, the lies perpetrated by big corporations in industries ranging from oil and gas to biotech to health care, and everything in between: rape, suicide, autism, AIDS, deceitful politicians, First and Second Amendment rights, birth control and abortion rights, organic farming, the Middle East, the military industrial complex, landlord-tenant relations, the folly of the “drug war,” the politics of marijuana, the Boulder City Council, mountain bike trail access, climate change.

No matter what issues matter to you, Boulder Weekly has, is or will be looking into it on your behalf and on behalf of this vibrant, unique community that is beloved to all of us who are fortunate enough to live here. And because the people who make Boulder Weekly happen care more about doing the work that makes a difference than we do about money and other material interests, you can be sure that what you read in our pages is as unadulterated as anything you will find on the subject. And dammit, that’s the way journalism is supposed to work.

Along the way, in the midst of all of the weighty issues we have taken on over the course of 1,000 weeks, we have never forgotten that, as The Band sang, “Life is a Carnival.” Week in and week out we have let our readers know about the music, theater, film, arts, recreation and cultural events that provide balance and joy to the sometimes tedious and often bewildering aspects of life. And as we turn this corner and head firmly in the direction of our 20th anniversary edition in August, we have just unveiled a new and innovative way for our readers to find out what’s happening in the Boulder County area: Boulder County Events (www.bouldercountyevents.com). With the addition of this new platform to our online edition (www.boulderweekly.com) we are now providing by far the most comprehensive and interactive events listings in the Boulder County area. Check it out.

Many free weekly papers (oops, I mean media organizations) throughout the country are thriving these days, even while daily newspapers continue to address their decades-long decline by consolidating, sharing content, downsizing, outsourcing jobs and liquidating their real estate and other assets. The reason for this is simple: We got it right from the beginning. Readers demand and deserve unique content that is relevant, truthful, journalistically superior and free. That’s what Boulder Weekly has delivered for 1,000 weeks, and that’s what you can rely on for the next 1,000 weeks. All that we ask of you is to keep on reading.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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Beautifully stated, Stewart. I am proud to have particpated, in a small way, in this great endeavor you started 20 years ago. Thanks for forging this amazing publication into the marketplace. No one can possibly understand the sacrifices you have made along the way. I will alway be thankful. And thanks for your dogged, "mercurial" personality. Some of us love and respect it more than you can know.

 

 
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