By Jim Tortolano
This week celebrates the five-year anniversary of The Orange County Tribune’s debut as a daily electronic “newspaper.” It was Aug. 6, 2016 when “The Trib” went live as a news operation and there have been a lot of changes, growth and challenges since then.
In many ways, The Tribune is the successor to the old Garden Grove Journal, which covered Garden Grove, Stanton and Westminster. That was a weekly print newspaper owned and edited for nearly 30 years by Jim Tortolano, and – later – with wife Marilyn Lewis Tortolano.
As it turned out, The Register stopped publishing the Journal in March 2016, and after some prototyping, the Tribune launched four months later as an online-only news source.
It always takes a while to build an audience. In our first full year of operation – 2017 – we had 119,479 page views, but that number built steadily. The breakthrough year was 2020, when we hit 431,839 views and had 284,904 visitors.
That was a big year for news, with elections, protests about police shootings and the rise of the coronavirus pandemic. People are still hungry for news even if they don’t care to read it on newsprint.
Since we’ve started, we’ve had 1,169,553 views and 782,730 visitors and attracted a growing number of a advertisers both local and national.
But enough about the past. We’re looking forward. Here’s what we have on our radar:
- We are seeking to establish internships for qualified high school, college and university students to further their education by contributing to The Tribune. We are hopeful that will allow us to further extend our coverage.
- We are exploring creating a YouTube channel for video content stemming from The Tribune.
- We have recently extended our “Daily News” summary of major state, national and international events to the weekend, making it a seven-days-a-week feature.
- With the return to relative normalcy, we will be back with more complete coverage of high school sports and live local theater in the fall.
- We are working with a prominent community leader to offer a format for non-profit groups in Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Stanton and Westminster to publicize their activities and events.
This and more is what we see on the horizon. But one thing that won’t change is our commitment to provide the people of Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Stanton and Westminster with non-partisan news, arts, opinion and sports coverage that’s fair and friendly.