Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. – John 15:2b
By Tom Campisi
Our Winter 2019 print edition, delivered in December, was the last print edition of Tri-State Voice. For the last 25 years, our newspaper has served the Metro New York region by being a “voice” to the Christian community, covering the latest news and events, and helping to build up the local Body with articles that teach, preach, and encourage. But this column is not an obituary, by any means!
Although we have had an online edition for many years, in January we hit the ground running, almost sprinting, into the new year. This site is updated twice every weekday, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. This format will enable us to publish about five times as many articles online (approximately 500 in one year) as we did under the print format (approximately 100 in one year). According to John 15:2, when the Lord purges a vine, it is with the intention of bearing more fruit. As a digital publication, this five-fold increase of articles is just one of the ways we will flourish and impact more people.
While we are thankful for the churches, Christian bookstores (remember them?) and businesses that have distributed Tri-State Voice’s print edition over the years, we are excited about being able to reach thousands, and maybe millions, of more people in what Marshall McLuhan once prophesied as the “global village.” Through mobile phones, laptops, and tablets, our audience reach is now far and wide. And with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and ads on Christian radio stations like Star 99.1, we are confident that TriStateVoice.com will multiply its fruitfulness and amplify its voice in Metro New York in the coming months.
While the excitement of this new day is palatable, it is also a little bittersweet for a life-long newspaper man. Thirty years ago, I got my first journalism job at the Trenton Times. A student at Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey), I made five dollars an hour covering high school sports. One of the enduring memories of that job was the strong smell of ink that permeated the first-floor entrance of the building. From the Trenton Times, I went on to work as an editor for the Princeton Packet, where many deadline hours were spent working with paste-up designers preparing our pages for the printing press. After a five-year career writing for The Star-Ledger and one year working in advertising at Christian radio stations WWDJ and WMCA, I became publisher of Tri-State Voice in 1995.
By conservative estimates, we have printed over three million copies of the Tri-State Voice since I became publisher. As the smell of the ink fades into memory, however, there is still much work to be done. Today, the need is even greater for good news from a Christian newspaper.
NEW STAFF MEMBER
To bolster our coverage in the new year, we have hired a new editor. Dan Hubbard brings nearly 20 years of journalism experience with work at North Jersey Media Group and others publications. For the last six years, he has served as the editor for Patch sites, overseeing Bergen and Passaic County. At Patch, he has been responsible to building and increasing Web traffic on multiple sites. Hubbard, an alumnus of Hawthorne Christian Academy and Ramapo College and a member of Calvary Temple International, is excited about joining our team and helping to drive traffic to TriStateVoice.com.
“Everyone has a story and we’re all a part of the Lord’s big story and his plan for the world,” Hubbard said. “Telling stories about people, about those whom God is using on this earth for His glory, and the impact they’re having, those are the stories that I want to tell. Those are the stories that need to be told.”
As we hire a new staff member this year, we also said goodbye to our long-time designer for the print edition, Dawn Massa, of Lightly Salted Graphics. Massa, a leader with MetroChurch in North Haledon, has blessed our publication with her giftings and insight over the years, often going above and beyond the call of duty. She was always faithful to help us meet deadline, even working around the birth of her second son, Joey, on one occasion, and wading through basement water after a hurricane flooded her home on another. Thank you, Dawn.
Of course, we would have never been able to last 23 years in newspaper publishing without the loving support of my wife Christen and children Victoria and Matthew.
Although they are too many to mention by name, I would also like to thank the pastors and ministry leaders we have worked with over the years. And where would we be without our advertisers? Thank you for your friendship and support. Last, but not least, a heart-felt thank you to our loyal readers. Thank you all for making this publication possible.
Like I said in the beginning of this column, this is not goodbye. It’s a big hello to a new digital era and to a new year. Please join our mailing list and stay connected with us. We look forward to serving you and the Christian community in 2019.
God bless you.
HOW YOU CAN JOIN OUR ONLINE COMMUNITY
TriStateVoice.com – “The Good News of Metro New York” – would like to invite readers, business owners, ministry leaders, school administrators, and concert and event promoters to join our online community.
READERS: For the last 25 years, it’s been an honor and a blessing to serve you with articles that inform, uplift, and encourage you in your walk with Christ. Please pray for us in 2019 as we step out in faith with our new site. Also connect with us by joining our mailing list and on Facebook and Twitter. Please share our stories on social media with your network.
CONCERT & EVENT PROMOTERS: TriStateVoice.com offers free and paid advertising via its new calendar and through banner ads. It’s a great place to advertise Christian concerts, conferences, and events.
MINISTRY LEADERS: One of things we do best, and enjoy the most, is highlighting local ministries and sharing what the Lord is doing through them. Each week, we will feature a different organization online in our Ministry Spotlight. I’d like to invite you to email us with information about your ministry or an outreach or an event you are a planning. You are also welcome to be part of our business and ministry network directory if your budget permits.
PASTORS, CHURCH ELDERS: We have appreciated your support over the years and your churches have faithfully distributed our print edition. Let us know if there is any way we can help you by getting the word out about an event or initiative you are hosting. We would also appreciate it if you can let your congregation know about our online community, via a church bulletin, email, or through social media.
CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS & COLLEGES: We are seeking students who may be part of your school newspaper or journalism program to write articles about their school for www.TriStateVoice.com. We would also like to invite you to advertise in our directory, or with banner or print ads.
BUSINESS OWNERS: We are thankful for all our advertisers over the last 25 years, big and small. Please consider advertising with www.TriStateVoice.com. It could be a two-fold blessing. When you advertise with Tri-State Voice, you are not only connecting your business with our readers, but you are also enabling us to publish stories that are truly “good news,” highlight worthy ministries in our region, and minister to people that may or may not be believers.