WASHINGTON ISLAND – Bucking the perception that newspapers are in decline, the Washington Island Observer says it is getting better every year.
The Door County weekly newspaper, which has a circulation of 1,100 loyal readers, reported revenue was at an all-time high in 2017.
The paper operates with a staff of five people, three of which live on the island, plus a summer intern. During its eight weeks at The Observer, the intern is the only staff member that works full-time. In addition to staff, more than 70 volunteer writers and photographers help fill the newspaper on a regular basis.
Like all newspapers, though, costs at The Observer continue to rise, including a $1,000 increase in newsprint costs so far in 2018 due to the rising cost of newsprint. Any profits are put toward improving the newspaper and the community it serves.
“Our challenge is to improve the value to our customers and employees, despite costs going up every year,” said Dale Cissna, The Observer’s financial officer.