Look Who’s 3!


The Rockaway Times Celebrates Third Anniversary

Time flies. This week marks the third anniversary of The Rockaway Times. And we’re celebrating by giving away the paper for free! Haha, we do that every week and have done so for 156 weeks in a row. Not bad.

We’re not doing a victory lap. Even in good times, anyone who owns a small business feels like they’re one disaster away from a real disaster.  Still, year three means, well, we’ve made it this far! 

At the outset, there were a couple of naysayers who predicted gloom. There was even a startup rival paper – does anyone remember The Rockaway Beat? 

It took a while for people to know us. Months into publishing week in and week out, some potential advertisers would ask our salespeople, The Rockaway Times, what’s that?

And then we won an award on our first try at The New York Press Association’s statewide newspaper contest. And then storeowners started calling us to leave stacks of papers. People in the Shore Front buildings asked us to put a rack in their lobbies  for weekly deliveries. Our Facebook page started getting a lot of likes. Our weekly email version of the paper got dozens of new subscribers every week. A lot of people told us — since The Rockaway Times arrived — they don’t spend money on newspapers any longer.

So, lo’ and behold, our name got known in Rockaway. And in a lot of other places, too.  People started buying our t-shirts and sending us photos of themselves wearing The Rockaway Times t-shirt in places from all over the globe. 

We know newspapers by themselves are often dull and tired. We try to mix things up a bit. We run photo contests and sandcastle contests. And we add a personal touch by listing locals in This Week In History and the Word Search, and printing photos you send us in Local Color. And we go beyond newsprint with social media (which earned us another New York Press Award). Some Rockaway Times Facebook posts have reached literally hundreds of thousands of people.

We’re happy to say even young people seem to like us or at least they follow us on Instagram. And who knows, we might even be trying this thing called Snapchat soon.

Ok, that’s enough bragging. We know we couldn’t brag at all if it weren’t for the people who’ve helped us along the way. Readers — that’s you! — have been so great. They’ve encouraged us and informed us; they’ve even sent advertisers our way. A lot of our readers are like sales reps — they tell business people they should put their ad in The Rockaway Times. 

Some of our columnists have been here for the whole trip! Pete Mahon (Between the Bridges), John Cori (Between The Groins), Helen Kilgallen and Paulette Mancuso (Be Well, Be Happy) and Alex Karinsky (Tubular Views) wrote columns for our first-ever edition three years ago.

Some of our current advertisers were in that first issue as well. Pretty awesome. Thank you to all of our advertisers throughout the years!

Anyway, here we are, celebrating our third anniversary with you, our beloved readers.  We’ve heard people say newspapers are dying. We feel pretty spry thanks to you!