Still taking baby steps

When I quietly launched The Portage Citizen on Feb. 14, I had a loose plan on how its future would play out, all modestly based on progress by baby steps.
There is no doubt in my mind and of many others, there is room for a fiercely independent — Portage la Prairie’s only independently owned source for news — newspaper in Portage. The encouragement and support I get from people who stop me in the street, via e-mails and phone calls is convincing. The Portage Citizen is adding another voice to the news mix that is appreciated.
If The Portage Citizen turns out to not be your cup of tea, it will at least satisfy your need to be “the newspaper you love to hate”, but we know you will read anyway!
I remain a one-man-doing-it-all operation and as I said in my introductory column, many balls would be dropped. The Portage Citizen regrettably doesn’t yet cover sports and there have been numerous news events I have not covered and didn’t even know about until after the fact. No excuses. As The Portage Citizen grows so will its coverage and circulation expand. The baby step rule very much still applies.
On April 11 The Portage Citizen grew from a self-published, hand folded and laser printed news sheet to a very skinny four-page newspaper that was delivered to every Portage residence. The baby has become a toddler. You can also catch up on your news at or on Facebook I said then we would soon reach every doorstep and be available on your favourite devices. We are there.
You probably looked at the first one and thought (insert laugh) maybe the insides had fallen out. My next step will be to eight pages — still not enough but growing in the right direction.
Today The Portage Citizen is on the cusp of being the “other” newspaper. The plan remains that “tomorrow” The Portage Citizen will be “the” newspaper of record and a trusted source of news for Portagers. Tomorrow, of course, is not a literal date. It will take time and hard work to earn the community’s trust and the merchant’s hard-earned advertising dollars. There are only so many dollars in the “advertising pie” and The Portage Citizen doesn’t expand it — it shrinks it. Businesses will vote with their advertising dollar and I know it will still be a while until I earn enough voting power from the business community at large.
I haven’t yet made a real effort to sell ads, but I know The Portage Citizen puts the local advertiser more in the driver’s seat than ever before: you now have another option.
If anything, the scope of available news to Portagers has improved since shortly after The Portage Citizen launched. We all have to do a better if we want to be recognized as “the best”. Competition always raises the bar and the consumer is always the winner.
Once I find a partner who is as passionate about supporting a community — that’s what a great community newspaper does — as I am with The Portage Citizen, then this newspaper will again improve and take its next baby step. But it can’t just be about taking your money!
Thank you, Portage la Prairie, for your heart-warming support.

One Response to "Still taking baby steps"

  1. Kathy Bryce   April 24, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    Well done Mickey. We are all proud of you and proud to say you are our friend!!

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