In the upper right corner of each week's cover are two numbers: a volume number and an issue number. On this week's cover, you'll see "Volume 20, Issue 01." This edition of Boise Weekly marks the first in our 20th year of existence.
For two decades, Boise Weekly has been Idaho's only alternative news outlet, and while many businesses focus on those years ending in "zero" in which to revel in public success, we don't. For us, these 400 or so words will be about all that mark the milestone of 20 years because, in true alty style, we're much more focused on the age of 21. The same was true of anniversaries 15 and 16--we celebrated our sweet 16 with more verve than the nice, round 15-year mark. So this time next year, expect a full issue dedicated to our 21st anniversary. But what of the first 19 volumes of Boise Weekly?
From co-founder Andy Hedden-Nicely on Boise Weekly's infancy: "Of all the great things I remember about the startup of the Boise Weekly, it's the people who we worked with that made it work. The first year, our revenues where half of our projections, and our expenses where twice what we thought they would be. It was sobering and not for the timid, but people just believed in it from the get go and they supported the crazy idea of having a different voice in our town."
Hedden-Nicely admits that it took "brave advertisers to invest hard-earned money" in Boise Weekly.
"So far, I think the paper has held up its end of the bargain. People love the Weekly, because it's always stayed true to its heart and still does," he said.
Sally Freeman, current Boise Weekly publisher and sole owner, recently made a surprising discovery about her ownership of the paper. As she starts her 11th year, she will have owned the paper longer than all the previous owners combined.
"Boise Weekly is somewhat like my third child. I have watched it grow up and mature with my kids. And Boise Weekly is the reason that I call Boise my home," said Freeman.
The first line of our mission statement says that nothing contributes to the well-being of a community more than a good local newspaper. Two decades later, we're still working to be meaningful contributors, and I hope that in another two decades, one of my successors is echoing these words.