Thanks to the hundreds of people who came to the downtown Westin June 1 to help us celebrate our 25th anniversary. You may see yourself in our picture spread on pages 28 and 29.
It was a great party and an excellent way for us to say “thank you” in person to a number of people who have helped us grow and thrive since 1980.
In the aftermath of the celebration, I’d like to say thanks to the rest of you. And, you know who you are. You are the ones who have let us into your worlds, one way or another. You have subscribed to IBJ. You have advertised in IBJ. You have been a vendor to IBJ. You have let our reporters into your offices and your companies, and talked to us about what’s going on with you and your businesses, and what’s going on in our community as a whole. That is what this newspaper is really all about, and we appreciate and value that trust more than you know. You also have never been hesitant to give us your feedback on how we’re doing, both good and bad, and that is incredibly important to us. It is our reality check. Among other things, it helps us change to better meet your needs, and it helps us continually monitor and redefine our standards. The one thing that has never changed is our mission. Through all the changes of the last 25 years-and there have been many-our one driving force has been trying to provide fair, balanced and intelligent reporting to our readers. We figured if we achieved that-our overriding purpose-we would be successful. I can say our hunch was right. Our hunch was right, even though when I go back and read some of those early issues, I absolutely shudder with embarrassment. As unsettling as that feels, the experience helps me realize just how hungry the business community was for a publication that took it seriously. You wanted it so badly that you stuck with a rookie paper through its growing pains long enough for us to find our legs. I thank you for that.
You must’ve known our heart was in the right place; I think we learned pretty quickly. After just three years, we had 10,000 paying readers.
In the last 10 years, in particular, we’ve been recognized more and more by our peers with accolades for our reporting and design. Last year, we received our industry trade group’s award for general excellence, along with business journals in New York City and Los Angeles.
We are proud of that, and happy to be in the company of those other big-city markets.
Twenty-five years ago, I certainly had no idea our startup newspaper in a brand-new industry would end up being such an important part of the local business community.
That is by far the most gratifying part of the entire experience for me.
One of the measures of a great newspaper is the degree to which it relates to and identifies with its audience, and vice versa. From what I see and hear, I am convinced the central Indiana business community has made IBJ its own. That feeling, plus the fact that we have created a company that provides gainful employment to 70 people, is the most important aspect of this experience for me after 25 years. So where do we go from here? More of the same, and bigger and better, but no doubt in new permutations as we change with the times and explore other ways of meeting readers’ needs. As always, we welcome your input and feedback. In fact, we thrive on it. Thanks again so much for your support.
Katterjohn is publisher of IBJ. To comment on this column, go to IBJ Forum at www.ibj.comor send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.