▲ The Jeju Weekly publisher Song Jung Hee gives her fifth anniversary message to readers. Photo courtesy Song Jung Hee
This May 2014 issue marks the 5th anniversary of The Jeju Weekly. Coming so soon after the Sewol ferry tragedy, it does not feel like a time for celebration, however. Amid the continuing grief for the over 300 dead or missing, mostly teenagers on a high school trip to our very island, our thoughts are primarily with the bereaved families, relatives and friends. We hope you find peace.
It was five years ago that our first issue was published on May 14, 2009. I then had the support of only one person: my husband. With no prior experience in publishing, many people thought I was a little crazy. Reflecting on the time that has passed, I surely had romantic conceptions about running a newspaper business. However, the island's only English-language newspaper has continued to grow and evolve in turbulent times for all print media.
Reflecting on our achievements, the online community at jejuweekly.com has grown and developed over the past five years and is updated daily. We plan to add even more online content in the near future such as customized travel information for foreign tourists. In addition, our Facebook page (“The Jeju Weekly”) has grown remarkably with over 30,000 current “likes,” surely the highest for equivalent social media on the island. This community helps us connect with readers and receive diverse feedback, a level of interactivity and immediacy that is crucial in this age.
The last couple of years have also been a time of growth and expansion for the paper in terms of our widening community role. This has included bridging the gap between local residents and the foreign community and even adding to our value as an educational tool for local students wanting to see Jeju through fresh eyes. We plan more such meaningful community work to connect foreign and local communities in the years ahead.
I would like to close by expressing my heartfelt thanks to all those who have supported The Jeju Weekly. Our survival, often referred to as a “miracle” by people close to the paper, is due to their hard work and dedication.
A special “thank you” is due to our outstanding editor and writer, Darren Southcott, our tremendous planning manager, Kim Sunyoung, and our two committed designers, Yun Sung Un and Ko Ahyoung. I also extend my gratitude to all our other staff who have supported us in very difficult circumstances. This, of course, includes all of our valued contributors and photographers, whose work adds a depth of value and diversity to our community publication.
For plenty more years to come we will strive to improve the paper and enrich the Jeju community as a whole.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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