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A new look, the same focus-on-the-islands mission

By Staff | Jul 8, 2015

Scott Blonde, Publisher

To better serve our readers and advertisers, we have made some slight changes in how we present the news of Sanibel and Captiva.

We are flipping our two-newspaper delivery package, bringing the Island Reporter to the outside and moving the Sanibel Captiva Islander to the center where it can be more easily “pulled out” by readers most interested what is happening on the islands.

To further increase our coverage of community happenings and events, The Islander also has a new, take-it-with-you feature – a “Let’s Go” center-spread pullout of upcoming things to do and live entertainment. The popular cover feature, highlighting a major on-island event will, of course, continue in The Islander.

Readers will notice that we also have redesigned the front page of The Reporter.

Because we agree that providing islanders and visitors alike with advance notice of festivals, fundraisers, fairs and fun happenings is of primary importance to our community, we’ve pushed The Reporter art-and-story package to the top of the page while retaining the emphasis on the news that makes The Reporter unique among the news offerings on Sanibel and Captiva.

We take great pride in The Reporter’s long-standing reputation as the islands’ “newspaper of record” and will continue our in-depth coverage of city council and planning board proposals and decisions as well as our second-to-none coverage of environmental issues of local interest.

Meanwhile, The Islander will continue to be “all things Sanibel & Captiva” – island people, places and events with the added voice made possible through the contributions of writers such as Charlie Sobczak (Living Sanibel); Marsha Wagner (Center Stage), Art Stevens (Shell Shocked), Anita Force Marshall (What’s Blooming in Paradise), Joe Pacheco (Poetic License) and Ann Bradley (At the Library).

All the island news and features you have come to expect, presented a little differently, so that they are easier to find and read.

As the publisher of the Island Reporter, the Sanibel Captiva Islander and the Sanibel & Captiva Shopper’s Guide, and speaking as an island property owner, taxpayer and business owner, I would like to share that our commitment to the islands is, has been, and will continue to be strong. We are proud of the fact that The Islander is the islands’ oldest newspaper and that The Reporter has, since 1973, been the go-to-news source for those wanting to know about the proposals and decisions that have the potential to shape our island community in the years to come.

For those who may not be familiar with our history, the Sanibel Captiva Islander was originally founded as a quarterly newsletter in 1960 – more than a half century ago. Volume 1, No. 1 still had sort of a newsletter look, but with a banner and some artwork of clouds, a pelican and a blowing palm tree, with the lighthouse perched on the shoreline in the background. It described itself in the banner as “Devoted to the interests of Sanibel and Captiva islands…finest shelling beaches in the Western Hemisphere.”

That mission is unchanged.

Today, the Islander focuses on the arts, entertainment, and the people who make the islands what they are.

The Island Reporter, started in 1973 by residents who were dedicated to the incorporation of Sanibel as a city, also builds upon a strong tradition.

Among its co-founders was Porter Goss, who became the then-new city’s first mayor and inaugural council member. He served for nearly a decade before going on to serve as a Lee County commissioner, state representative and director of Central Intelligence – appointed by President George W. Bush – before becoming the first director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

His son, Chauncey Goss, now serves on the Sanibel City Council.

This knowledge of island people, and of island heritage, is something The Reporter and The Islander will continue to share as we continue our role as the islands’ leading source of news.

Thank you for reading. Community input, news tips and story suggestions are always welcome.

– Scott Blonde is the publisher of The Sanibel Captiva islander and the Island Reporter