Derrick: Welcome to Mainstreet 2.0

If you are not already familiar with Mainstreet Daily News, you probably have a question on your mind: Why would a weekly newspaper call itself the “daily” news? 

It’s a logical question, but one that is easily answered with a little context. Mainstreet Daily News launched in March 2020 as a digital-only website devoted to covering Gainesville, Alachua County, and the surrounding counties comprising North Central Florida. 

Days after our launch, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically altered our world—so Mainstreet evolved with it. Over the last two-plus years we’ve become a regular presence in the community, pounding the pavement to bring you untold stories and more in-depth coverage of important local events.

The response has been overwhelming. Our digital presence has grown to some 70,000 monthly unique users and our daily email newsletter readership has grown seven-fold over the last year—from under 300 to more than 2,000. 

Now we’re adding 10,000 print readers, because we believe print still plays an important role in the life of a community. 

The reason this newspaper is called the “daily” news is because that’s exactly what we have been and will continue to be. We will still break news and post five to 10 stories a day on our website. We will continue to live stream local high school sports and cover games as they happen. 

The weekly print edition is simply an expression of that ongoing daily work. It’s a “best of” compilation of the previous week’s news and features. 

Lots of media companies claim to be digital-first, but they often have to overcome decades of a print-first mentality. We do not have that problem.  

While preparing to launch the print edition, we have worked simultaneously on a new website that launched on June 22. It is up to three times faster than our previous site, particularly enhancing the digital experience for our rural readers and others who may not have access to high-speed internet. 

The new site also includes an automated tool for local events and, as of this week, a section for obituaries we’re launching in partnership with Legacy.com. We are the only newspaper in the market working with Legacy.com, the world’s largest online memorial provider. 

We are jumping into obits for one simple reason: We heard feedback that the community wanted another option—and particularly a lower cost one. We have delivered on that request. 

We have also heard a lot of complaints about local newspapers that charge too much for their content. We have answered this call as well, providing free content to everyone in the community, regardless of whether they can afford to pay for it. 

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our inaugural edition advertisers—the early adopters who stepped up to help make this newspaper possible. We are looking for more to join us. And if you are not a business owner but an individual who wants to support local news, you can click on the “support us” button at the top of our website. 

Good local journalism takes a community. We thank you for joining us.

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