If you are reading this, thank you.
It means one of two things: you either care about local news or you are just curious enough to wonder what are these people who are launching a newspaper during a pandemic thinking? I am writing this message to you in either case.
We present this paper to you with good intentions. We know you are busy with so many important things, and when you are done with those important things, you probably don’t feel like watching the County Commission or City Council meetings to see if your elected officials are delivering on their promises; or searching the Clerk of Court’s record to see what public notices have been filed – and that is where we come in.
You can rest assured that someone from our team will be at those meetings and searching public records. And when we hear or see something that we think you might want to know, we’ll wave a flag asking you to “look over here for a minute, and tell me what you think.”
We assure you, however, that we will not wait for issues to come up at public meetings to bring important matters to your attention. Expect us to ask smart questions not only of government, but also the many powerful for-profit and non-profit businesses in this town with agendas and a narrative for which they’d like your buy-in. With additional information, you readers will have more than just carefully packaged press packages to rely on when deciding who the honest players are.
We are going to do this for you all because we care. We are part of this community, and we want the same thing you want for all Marion County residents -health, security, prosperity, transparency, acceptance, and hope when the future gets a little dark. Many of these aspirations cannot be delivered by any government official or entity, instead only through personal and community development. But it starts with communicating, and we are hoping you will participate and bring with you good intentions.
But we promise not to always be so serious! We will attempt to wrap news in humor when it is appropriate through columns, but we are even willing to deliver it at our expense.
And we will celebrate with you! From your team’s victory, to a business milestone, to all the good people (yes, even our politicians!) working hard to make Ocala a little better every day. We will lift your stories up and shout them just as loud, if not louder, through our platform. You see, we believe that your desire to read the news is not just out of curiosity of who got caught doing what (in fact we hate that type of crime blotter news!) but instead a desire to be part of something bigger than just ourselves.
And that just so happens to also be the answer to our Why? It’s safe to bet that journalists did not pick their profession for the likely financial reward, and the same goes for small publishers. While large corporations enjoy the profits that come from stretching national news over many markets, your local Ocala Gazette team will be working to deliver only original content about a place we call home.