The local monthly newspaper for Murrells Inlet and Garden City Beach
- Encouraging, inspiring and informing the community.
- Charges only $5 a column inch for ads on an annual contract.
- Prints 6,000 copies in peak season and 4,000 the rest of the year.
- Distributes the paper monthly to more than 125 locations with an 88 percent pickup rate, which means about 3,500 homes, or 8,750 people, want and read the paper.
- Creates ads at no extra charge.
- Provides the only newspaper specifically for MI and GCB, and is read cover to cover, clipped, passed around, and kept around, for a month because it has community events, local features, and business, school and church news. Your ad is visible all month.
- Receives thank you calls or e-mails from readers or advertisers almost daily, practically unheard of in this business. The response has been unbelievable for a newspaper. We believe it is because there was no newspaper specifically for MI/GCB before the Messenger, and that people are ready for good news about their community and its residents and businesses.
(This article is from our first issue in February 2010. We still can’t say it any better.)
New local paper for Murrells Inlet, Garden City
This is the first edition of a monthly newspaper for the residences
and businesses within the boundaries of the Murrells Inlet
zip code. As the paper grows, we hope to publish more often.
Why did we start the Murrells Inlet Messenger?
Murrells Inlet, a unique, friendly, quaint and special community
of more than 3,600 homes and 6,000 people, doesn’t have
its own newspaper. The same holds true for another special community,
Garden City Beach, with its more than 9,000 people and
4,700 homes. More than 15,000 people without their own paper?
It’s almost unheard of in the newspaper business. It’s time for a
local paper. I’m prejudiced, but I feel it is a necessity.
People love local news. They want to read about their children,
neighbors, events, clubs, churches, schools, sports and businesses.
As unincorporated entities, Murrells Inlet and Garden City
Beach have no governmental bodies, no town halls and no town
centers. This newspaper could function as town messenger and
town center, where residents come to learn what’s happening
in their community, learn about their neighbors, and share their
ideas for improving the area. Our coverage will begin in Murrells
Inlet, but we will spread out into Garden City in the next
I have already started two newspapers: a weekly in my hometown
in Vermont, called The Essex Reporter; and a monthly in
a small suburb of Pittsburgh, called the New Kensington News.
One is 28 years old; the other folded. Pittsburgh was in a recession
long before there was a recession.
Starting small newspapers is something I do, as my father did
before me. It’s part of who I am.
As for working for someone else, I was a daily newspaper reporter
for seven years and a weekly reporter for six years, earning many statewide press awards, including four South Carolina Press Association awards over two years, 2006 and 2007. I also freelanced for four national Christian publications, including
Christianity Today, and have a master’s degree in journalism.
My wife, Debbie, is committed to a full-time job and will help
out when she can.
I am not going to claim to be an expert on Murrells Inlet. I did
cover the inlet for three years as a reporter, so I know a little
about the community.
But, I don’t know it the way you do. I have a lot to learn, and
I want you to teach me. I do know enough that Debbie and I
would like to try to make Murrells Inlet our home. We like the
people, the atmosphere, the creek and the food.
It is different here.
As a community newspaper, we cannot survive without your
support. We need readers first. Word of mouth is the most effective
means of advertising. If local businesses hear people talking
up the paper, they will be convinced that their ad has a good
chance to be seen. But, to pick up and read a paper, there had
better be something worth more than a few minutes of your time.
We feel the more local names, faces and events we put in our
pages, the more people will read the paper, and keep it around
all month. In the process, we will also be serving the community.
This will be an old-fashioned community newspaper. It will
be published for the benefit, support and encouragement of the
community. We want to help build, not tear down, Murrells Inlet.
As we grow and learn about the community, we will not
necessarily shy away from hard news stories, but they will not
be our main concern.
We will steer clear of printing left-right, Democrat-Republican,
bashing letters to the editor. We want to print your possible solutions
to problems. We encourage letter writers to focus on issues
and not personalities. As Jesus said, “He who is without sin cast
the first stone.” If we’re honest, I think we would all be left
standing with a rock in our hand. There is enough condemnation
and judging in the news. We don’t need to add to it. We will have
to work out the kinks in the first few months so please be patient
with us. We will try to improve in appearance and content each
We’re in this together. If you want your own paper, then we
need readers and advertisers. This is our pilot issue. In the next
few months, we will try to get advertisers on contract for only
12 issues, one ad a month. Not a big investment to support the
community and promote your business.
So, got some news, an event coming up, or a letter to the editor?
E-mail the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to advertise? Call us at 344-3197 or contact us via e-mail.
Like the paper? Tell everybody about it.
I don’t know about you but I am excited about this adventure. I
think a local community newspaper, especially in these times, is
good news for Murrells Inlet.
What do you think?
Let us know. That’s what we’re here for.