In the more than four years that VISTA Today has been in business, we have carved out an important niche as a vehicle for sharing positive, upbeat stories, stories that affirm why Chester County is routinely ranked as one of the most desirable places to live in all of America.
While we are flattered when someone calls us a “news site” or online “newspaper,” we do not practice journalism. Rather, we practice the art of storytelling by publishing stories that celebrate Chester County.
Although we have the utmost respect for journalists and believe reporters and journalists are necessary for a vibrant, healthy democracy, VISTA Today does not share their responsibility to tell both sides of a story.
VISTA Today was created as an alternative to the doom-and-gloom, the-sky-is-falling coverage offered up by most traditional news media.
As such, we eschew the if-it-bleeds-it-leads stories on crime, accidents, road closures, scandal, politics, etc., as those types of stories, at best, paint an inaccurate picture of life in Chester County and, at worst, push us further into our respective partisan corners.
We don’t, for instance, ask a bank to open up its books to us before we run a press release on its quarterly results.
Nor do we ask a company for a copy of the cleared check that proves it donated thousands of dollars to its favorite charity.
We also don’t ask a nonprofit to show us its balance sheet before we announce to the public that it is struggling financially because the government just cut its funding and it needs help.
We assume, sans evidence to the contrary, politicians are doing their best to serve their constituents and look after the long-term interests of their municipality, district, county, state, or nation.
Nonetheless, we strive to ensure our stories are thoughtful, fact-based, and 100-percent accurate and credible.
Look at this way. If a chamber of commerce were to put out a daily newsletter, it would look like VISTA Today.
While we do have a little bit of advertising, our focus is keeping our pages free and uncluttered of the banner and pop-up ads so prevalent on many traditional media and news sites.
Instead, we are sustained primarily by our affiliate partners: the large companies, small businesses, nonprofits, and schools and universities whose stories of success are often overlooked or underreported.
We champion their stories and share them with an audience that otherwise wouldn’t have access to them.
Our affiliate partners appreciate that VISTA Today, a conduit for telling their stories, exists. And given VISTA Today’s continued growth, so do our readers.
Thank you for opening our e-mails, clicking on our stories, and making VISTA Today part of your day, every day.
We love sharing stories that celebrate Chester County’s quality of place, and judging on your feedback, so do you.
Ken Knickerbocker, a 31-year resident of Chester County, is the publisher of VISTA Today, as well as similar county business journals in Delaware County (PIVOT Today) and Montgomery County (MONTCO Today). He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.