It has not been a great few weeks for media companies. Gannett has gutted many of its local newspapers, CNN has laid off a good amount of employees, and journalists at the New York Times walked out today as they feel like they are not being compensated enough. This post serves as a FAQ as to why I, Ryan Hernandez, launched this new venture.
What is SanAngelo.News?
It is a new news site for the San Angelo and Concho Valley area. It will formally launch in 2023 and will try to fill the information gap left void by the local newspaper's declining quality.
Our mission is to serve the Concho Valley area with news, sports, and opinion.
Our vision is to become the best news site west of I-35.
Our core values are Integrity, Fairness, and Honesty.
Why not now? I love this community. I grew up reading the newspaper, and it was the first time I really fell in love with both sports and this area. I hope that we can provide coverage for the entire community.
Why the name SanAngelo.News
It is simple. It is all about building a brand identity as a startup. With this title, I am able to use search engine optimization so whenever someone searches for San Angelo News, we will be close to the top of search results without spending money on ads. We will serve the entire Concho Valley area if we can make it, but for now, it is best for that reason alone.
Will the news be free?
Ideally yes, but we also need to pay our bills. We are selling memberships and will begin selling ads to interested companies soon. We will have opportunities to sponsor newsletters or purchase ad space on our site. It is important to note that we will not partner with everyone who wishes to buy ads. They have to be a benefit to this area. It is also important to note that advertisers will not dictate editorial coverage. If you have a company interested in buying ads, email me at Ryan.Hernandez@SanAngelo.News
Who is behind this?
For now, it is just me. I have worked at several news companies. I have also worked and lived all over Texas. With that experience, I have gained best practices from each part of my life. I was born and raised here in San Angelo, went to Cornerstone Christian School, and have degrees from Trinity and North Texas. I have also interned for the local City Manager, a former speaker of the Texas House, and worked at UNT.
Are there opportunities to invest?
Yes! There are those locally who have some version of a business plan. I would love for them to invest.
There are also organizations I want to partner with to help defray costs that are needed to produce the news (looking at you Axios). You can reply to this email if that interests you. We need around $5,000 to raise to do this right. That covers web hosting costs, hiring freelancers to cover stories, and marketing campaigns to reach out to potential stakeholders who believe in our news product and the San Angelo community at large.
Are you working with anyone else?
I am glad you asked. I have recently applied to be a part of the Tiny News Collective. It is a nonprofit that helps start small newsrooms around the country. It is sponsored by Google and provides major discounts to independent news publishers. You can learn more about this organization at www.tinynews.co.
What are you going to cover?
Good question! At our start, we want to focus on three areas: news, sports, and agriculture. Those are the three areas that will most likely be of most importance to our community. I (Ryan) know nothing about agriculture, but I am willing to learn to provide expertise or outsource to a local expert to write a column. Eventually, there will be more including obituaries, but we are starting small.
Will you work with local schools?
Of course. Down the road, I want to give students from Lake View, Cornerstone, Central, and TLCA an opportunity to write a weekly roundup of what is going on in those communities. This is where I will work to partner with the school district and hopefully partner with them. I will also seek to partner with Angelo State and Howard College. I am hopeful we can work to help each other out, and I can mentor those who want to work in this field.
Are you hiring?
Right now, no. I have a long list of professional journalists I want to hire as freelancers, but, again, funding will be key, I also have a list of younger San Angeloans who I want to hire eventually
I cannot afford a subscription, are there other ways to help out?
First, email me at Ryan.Hernandez@sanangelo.news, and I will be sure to give you complimentary access for a period of time. I also am seeking thoughts and prayers. The biggest contribution you could do besides that is sharing this site and asking friends and family to create a free account. It creates better visibility in the community.