An FR&A Birthday Thank-You!

We’re celebrating our first birthday!

early page 1

An early front page.

There’s a scene in a 1932 episode of the “Our Gang” comedies – called “Freewheeling” – in which two of the Little Rascals find themselves in a driverless carriage careening down a hill. At one point, one of the characters, Dickie, turns to his pal, Stymie, and says, “Where are we going?”

“I don’t know,” Stymie says, “but we’re on our way.”

That’s pretty much how we felt 12 months ago, when we “flipped on the lights” here at the Franklin Reporter & Advocate. We knew we were embarking on a journey; we just didn’t know what twists and turns lay in the road ahead.

What we did know, however, was that there was an absence of a reliable news source that was telling the tale of Franklin Township and its residents beyond the sensational headlines of the regional newspapers and television stations. Our goal was to fill that void.

There were a few technical bumps in the road, such as on Election Day 2013, when our site temporarily crashed several times after thousands of people logged on at the same time. (We were able to restore it quickly each time). Or the time a cyber attack by hackers on our server (not directed at us) knocked us offline for a few hours until the technicians could get everything back on track.

And what a year it has been!

More than 71,000 unique readers – about 60,000 since January alone – have generated nearly 300,000 page views in that time, and for that we are truly appreciative.

The Franklin Reporter & Advocate is proving to be the go-to source for the breaking and updated news that matters to township residents. Stories such as the impending bankruptcy of the school district’s largest bus contractor threatening the start of school after the 2013 winter break, the controversy over proposed speakers at Middlebush Park, or the high school athletic staff and athletes answering the ALS ice bucket challenge drove readers by the thousands to the FR&A.

On this first anniversary of the birth of the Franklin Reporter & Advocate, we are thankful for much.

We are thankful for the many people of Franklin Township we’ve met – for their enthusiasm, their encouragement and their thank-yous for our bringing the Franklin Reporter & Advocate into their community and into their lives.

We are thankful for readers who have chosen to exhibit their support for local, independent journalism by subscribing. Your votes of confidence in what we are accomplishing are truly humbling.

We are thankful for our advertisers, some of whom expressed their desire to sign up even before we were accepting advertising! They have recognized the importance to a community of, and their alliance with, a vibrant, local, independent media source that cares about the town it serves.

We’d like to extend a special “thank-you” to our advertisers for believing in us:

  • Advanced Dental Arts: Dr. Joseph Haddad
  • Anytime Fitness: Daniella Harris
  • The Arbors at Franklin: Melissa Sheil
  • Cedar Hill Preparatory School: Nan Menon
  • Eyeglasses on Easton: Dr. Geri Bauer, Brian Baptiste
  • Fischer Health & Rehab: Dr. David Fischer
  • Flemington Car & Truck Country and Princeton Auto: Steve Kalafer
  • Franklin Electric: Pat Gianotto
  • Nina Jordan, Realtor®
  • Kettleman’s Bagels, Deli and Grill: Hassan Abdo
  • Kumon Math & Reading of Somerset: Sally Liu
  • Lener, Myler Co., PC: Rich Lener
  • Brian D. Levine, CPA
  • M.F. Gianotto Custom Modular Homes: Michael Gianotto
  • Modern Motion Dance School: Ginger Haithcox
  • Snyder’s Farm: Beth Savaryn
  • Somerset Patriots: Marc Russinoff, Dave Marek
  • Stankovich Auto Body: Anthony Stankovich
  • Unity Bank: Rosemary Fellner

We have been Franklin Township residents for more than two decades, and we’re proud of the town we call home. You are, too! There have been many opportunities to help share that pride over the past 12 months, whether through stories of good works performed by local businesses – collecting donations for the Franklin Township Animal Shelter, raising money for the Franklin Township Food Bank and Elijah’s Kitchen, or the veterinary clinic whose employees recognized a stolen puppy and helped get it back to its family – personal achievements by residents, academic successes of our school children and the sense of Warrior Pride generated by the 2013-14 Franklin High School girls’ basketball team in their march to a sectional championship.

We haven’t ignored the bad news, such as the young rapper who was murdered over a game of dice, or various other crimes committed in the Eight Villages. But it’s about time that the good news about the township gets told, too.

Among our plans for the coming year:

  • A new marketing campaign designed to bring our message to more Franklin Township residents. You’ll be hearing more about that soon.
  • An email newsletter to bring subscribers up-to-date on stories they may have missed during the previous week, and which will also serve as another avenue for our advertisers.
  • Expanding our presence in the community with more sponsorships of township events and organizations (and, perhaps, some events of our own!)
  • In-depth and investigative reports on topics of concern to Franklin Township residents.

Unlike that of Dickie and Stymie in that “Little Rascals” episode of so many years ago, our journey is still beginning.

With your continued faith in us and our mission of independent, hometown, home-grown news, we of the Franklin Reporter & Advocate will be sharing it with you for many more years to come!

With our sincere thanks,

Bill Bowman, Publisher/Editor

PJ Parker, Advertising Director



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