I started this community journalism journey in 2006 with 48 straight months of the Chester Spotlight Paper followed by the 2010 move to blogging an average of 3 posts a day without ever missing a beat. It was time for a little break, wouldn’t you say?
In the past I’ve hinted that I was quitting. It was nice to finally stop blogging for a month to see how quitting feels.
Some people mentioned that I was on an extended vacation. Others urged me to hurry back. One person said I’ve ruined his morning commute. Another guy said I’d miss blogging. People never stopped trying to give me stories to write and the email piled up with community events and press releases.
I don’t have a name for my absence, but sabbatical is probably the word I’d use to describe my time away from the C-City Blogger persona.
During my so-called time off, I wrote a book, built a website, took a class, launched a marketing campaign for an educational black comic book series, recorded a pilot episode of CPR (Chester Public Radio), submitted shows for BestCoreRadio.com, washed my car, and gave plenty thought towards what I would blog about when I came back.
The biggest thing I discovered is people from out of town expressed their feelings for the blog far more than the locals did. Easily, 80% of the people who reached out to check on my status were non Chesterites.
As much as I’ve tried to create a vehicle for Chester people to express themselves and submit their events and releases for posting, Chester never bought in. If I counted on Chester submissions, the paper and blog would have ended long ago. So, I put in the work to find stuff to keep y’all informed, entertained, and annoyed. Content stayed focused on stuff from Chester or stuff Chester folk should be aware of.
Those days are over. Starting in the next few days, the ‘Chester City Blog’ is being replaced by the ‘Stefan Roots Blog.’ To some of you, you always thought you were reading the ‘Stefan Roots Blog’ as I became the face of what was supposed to be a community blog.
Here’s the Top 5 things to look for on the Stefan Roots Blog:
- More opinion pieces on Chester, but not limited to Chester. I’ll be covering topics from near and far since my loyal readers aren’t Chester people. They just like a good story.
- An audible interview series called ‘CPR – Chester Public Radio.’
- A segment called ‘WTF News! (Why the Foolishness).’
- No more free postings of press releases or community events.
- A donate button to contribute a few pennies to help defray the hosting cost (I know you think all this has been brought to you for free all this time).
Chester hasn’t quite got to the point where it’s ready to support an independent media voice of the people. The Chester Spotlight Paper and Chester City Blog didn’t get much traction and the ‘Chester Spirit’ paper gave up all together and moved out of the city to become the ‘Spirit.’
Chester folks look to the county paper to cover their news – good and bad. That’s where they send their press releases & submissions, and look for yesterday’s murder, basketball game results and obituaries. Yet, folks still have the nerve to get mad if they don’t post photos of Chester’s Mothers Day Parade or Chef Tavia winning Chopped for the second time.
It’s been a nice ride creating a hyper-local Chester based paper and blog. For those of you who got it, thanks. For those of you who didn’t, you’re not alone.
A special thanks to all of you who reached out to make sure I was okay. You’ve encouraged me to come back even stronger.