Letter from the Publisher


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Posted December 25, 2020 |

Dear Reader,

We could not let this year end without sending out a big thank you to those who have supported our efforts in the first year of the Ocala Gazette.

Starting a newspaper while quality local journalism is on the decline nationwide—let alone during a global pandemic—was a risk, but our community has a need for reliable information. Large corporate news companies have little incentive to support local journalism when they profit more by recycling national news across many different newspaper platforms.

For this reason, I share our Why? in starting the Ocala Gazette in the hope it becomes your reason for also supporting the cause.

Our first goal was, and is, to deliver trustworthy local journalism so corruption, misinformation and abuse are not hidden from the public and are not left unchallenged. We also will record the local history of our community so it can be recalled years from now.

The Ocala Gazette team shows up to work every day mindful that we must provide value to you, our readers. In doing so, we deliver an engaged audience to our advertisers, who are the largest sustainers of local news and who enable us to deliver an important public service that keeps our community connected and a little safer.   

It is important to also acknowledge that the support of our advertisers helps us provide free digital content for those who might not have the means to pay for it. We’d like to continue providing free digital content for as long as we can because we believe access to reliable information should not be limited due to lack of money and that information can be a tool to overcome challenges.

Some of you have been enjoying a complimentary copy of the Ocala Gazette in your mailbox each week. We ask that you consider supporting quality local journalism by becoming a paid subscriber or by making a one-time donation towards our efforts.

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As we head into the new year, we are proud to announce that two journalists with deep roots in the community have recently joined our team.

Carlos Medina is our new managing editor. He was with the local daily paper for a number or years and has been a professional journalist in the area for more than 20 years. He has covered topics ranging from city and county government, to the hospital district and business and industry, and has a strong background in all things equine.

Ainslie Lee, a recent graduate of the University of Florida, joins the team as associate editor. She has reported on sports for the Star-Banner for three years. She is a seventh-generation resident of Marion County. There is no doubt the community will enjoy Ainslie’s in-depth reporting on her first passion, which is sports, but she also has started showing us her ability to tackle more serious subjects, such as homelessness, opioid addiction and city government.

We hope our content this year has brought the community together with reasons to celebrate, sympathize and debate our history in the making. I welcome hearing from you about our first six months of delivering the Ocala Gazette. I want to know your thoughts about whether we are meeting our mission. Please send an email to letters@ocalagazette.com to share your thoughts.

Jennifer Hunt Murty,Publisher