Welcome to Michigan's Second Wave, the newest publication from Issue Media Group. We're looking forward to bringing you the stories you want to read.
It has been just over five years since I first conversed with Paul Schutt and Brian Boyle -- the owners of Issue Media Group -- about their ideas regarding the future of online publishing and hyperlocal news.
I'll admit, I was skeptical at first. There we were, discussing online publications that were going to focus on specific cities and others fixating on regions in Michigan, each reporting about talent and diversity and innovation and development that other, traditional publications had a tendency to avoid writing about. As someone who had cut their teeth and then spent the next nine years in the world of print newspaper journalism, it was almost too much to really comprehend.
Who is going to read it? Who is going to be interested in some startup company in the Midtown neighborhood of Detroit or some coffee shop in the heart of Grand Rapids? What reader is going to jump on social media to share a feature about a program designed to help Spanish-speaking children of migrant workers adjust to classrooms in northwest Michigan? How does an old school being renovated into senior apartments in Michigan's Upper Peninsula pique anyone's interest who isn't from the town in which it is happening?
The answer was almost too simple to work. Let's create the publications and find out.
Five years. It's been a whirlwind since I first signed on. I've watched new publications spring up across the country in the continued growth of Issue Media Group's reach. I've managed pubs that have won multiple local awards for the coverage they've provided. I've studied analytic numbers showing hyperlocal stories about people, places and ideas reaching enough readers to form a small city. And we're just talking about the tip of the IMG iceberg.
These publications not only captured the interest of readers, but they caught fire and grew in leaps and bounds. The first stories picked up hundreds of views. Now the publications count their readers in the tens of thousands.
Issue Media Group has made a name for itself by reporting on stories people want to read. About art. About education. About thought leaders and civic champions. About new business, and old business doing new things. About the drive and the passion and the determination that has proved this state can reinvent itself time and time again. These stories are in publications like Model D in Detroit and Metromode in the communities surrounding it. Or in Concentrate in Ann Arbor, Rapid Growth in Grand Rapids and Capital Gains in Lansing. Regional stories from Second Wave publications from the northernmost reaches to the southwestern border of our great state.
Issue Media Group wants to continue to tell great stories from these publications -- and more.
And that's why I'd like to welcome you to Michigan's Second Wave, a weekly publication featuring stories from across the Great Lakes State. Some stories will be from our local editors and their teams which we believe everyone should read. Others will be original to this publication and will focus on showcasing how connected our regions and cities really are without even knowing it.
The same kind of people, the same kind of leaders, the same kind of determination to always push forward and continue to strive to improve, to invent and to invigorate.
As the managing editor of Michigan's Second Wave, I'll be overseeing many of the stories being told and picking out the best from IMG's nine in-state publications to share each week.
And you know what? We here at Issue Media Group are going to make sure you get all of these great stories for free. In fact, you can choose to have it delivered right to your inbox each and every week. Don't worry, we won't spam you. We'll just bring you the best stories so you get to meet the people who drive Michigan forward each and every day, and those who will continue to do so in the years to come.
The future of online media is a bright one, and we here at Issue Media Group are happy to be at the forefront of the changing landscape, helping define what readers want and why hyperlocal and regional coverage of people, movements and ideas are of interest to everyone.
Can an online publication dedicated to telling those stories -- at the hyperlocal, the regional and the stateweide level -- succeed the same way Issue Media Group's other publications have? We've created one to find out.
Welcome to Michigan's Second Wave.
Sam Eggleston is the managing editor of Michigan's Second Wave. He was born and raised in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and has lived everywhere from the northwoods, to the shores of the Great Lakes to the hustle and bustle of metro Detroit. He can be reached via email.