Happy New Year Islander News editorial

#whatadifferenceayearmakes

That hashtag has over 1,100 postings on Instagram, most dealing with accounts of personal challenges or triumphs, like weight loss, children growing up, etc.

For us working at Islander News -- and for me personally -- that phrase has similar significance. 2019 was definitely a year of change for us.

Last December, while in the middle of a health-related battle, and looking toward the start of 2019, my focus was recuperating. Take time off, see how we can simplify things, and try to slow down. Man, was I wrong.

Little did I know that American Hometown Publishing, then owners of Islander News, was planning to get out of the newspaper business. That left me in a quandary. Do I leave, look for someone to buy Islander News and remain at the helm, or buy it ourselves.

As you know, we decided on the last choice, to buy -- and we have never looked back. The purchase process was fun, exhilarating, frustrating at times, mostly educational. Many decisions had to be made, some of those hurt me and others I care deeply about. And I probably made some mistakes along the months-long process. Our focus, however, never wavered. We are committed to making sure Islander News is positioned for success, now and in the future.

See the difference a year can make? As we head into 2020, we find ourselves as stewards of an iconic brand. But even more important, we are committed to continuing to strengthen the relationship Islander News has with the residents of this vibrant, diverse, proud and caring community. We do not take this relationship lightly. We have done many good things so far. And there are many others we can improve upon. But our mission remains the same: To provide factually based coverage of our Village, without bias or an agenda.

Our 2020 goals are simple. Grow our audience along multiple platforms and languages. Get more of you involved with our products and engaged with our content. Give you a place to express your opinion. We want to report the community’s news, but also help explain its impact on residents. We want to tell great stories about your dreams, efforts and accomplishments -- be it as citizen activists, business people, parents or neighbors.

Our challenge is to strike a balance in our coverage so all Islander News readers can find content of interest. Not everyone is interested in the same things. Some of you don’t enjoy village budget hearings or political stories, crime reporting, county or statewide news articles, stories about youth sports, or even a restaurant feature. That’s OK.

You may not agree with all that’s included on our pages, but our priority will always be to provide interesting local news for island residents, young and old. It’s what a community newspaper should do: provide content that enables readers to discover new and interesting things.

We hope you’ll find something that makes you smile, increases your pride about living in Key Biscayne, makes you smarter about your community, introduces you to a neighbor, or just gives you something to talk about with friends over un cortadito at Golden Hog or Costa Med.

As we close 2019, we wish you a Happy Holiday season and all the best in the New Year. May it bring you happiness, health, success, many blessings -- and time in your schedule to read Islander News stories. Cheers!

Have any ideas to share on coverage, a neighbor to feature or an issue that needs to be explored? justo@islandernews.com

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