As we approach the end of 2019, it is important to acknowledge our accomplishments and state our goals for 2020...
2019 brought a year of organization, determination and self observation for Scoop... we had to look at the newspaper, its values, goals an objectives and make some very drastic (but necessary) changes to the business model and the definition of what Scoop is and what we want Scoop to be for our Community... With that said, we changed from a FREE newspaper to one that charges a fee.
A fee that is meager compared to other publications, but while small—this fee will pay publication costs, and will help the community; because a large portion of the $1.00 fee to purchase the Scoop, will go directly to the distributors. Ultimately providing Scoop with an opportunity to assist in developing the economy by helping our distributors become entrepreneurs. So, a distributor can be a teenager, an adult or even a senior... it can be anyone who needs to earn some extra cash one to two days a week; and you can make anywhere from $25 to $400 per week... Easy as pie...
So, this is my update for our readers and supporters. Today is the day before my 2nd Anniversary of owning Scoop and its been a real interesting ride, to say the least. We have transitioned from a print only paper to a fully functioning digital/print media platform that also has dabbled and will be doing more video and audio media in the upcoming year.
The last four months have been the most difficult of the transition, culminating with my having the need to ask for public support to establish a firm foundation for this media platform. The public was asked to pay small fee of $1.00 to purchase the Scoop weekly. $.60 of this goes to Scoop for production cost and the other $.40 goes to the establishment or sales representatives who have graciously agreed to sell Scoop or have it in their stores or newsstands. To date, selling the paper has be trying, with many people stealing papers from distributors and also taunting them stating the paper is free. So, I need to make it clear, that if SCOOP is to remain a staple in this community, the community must support the paper by purchasing a copy.
Now, what I learned during this change, is that many people really didn’t support the newspaper. Even politicians asked that the paper no longer be delivered to their offices. They plainly stated that if they had to pay for the paper they did not want it... while at the exact same time they were sending press releases for Scoop to share their work and goodwill with the Community. There were many senior homes and programs that said they could/would not purchase the paper for their clients. Imagine, hearing this information when you are in debt from publishing a paper for FREE to people who--when asked for help, say that they would prefer not to have it... I hope you can see or feel the pains that went through my heart. So, decisions had to be made and since many didn’t support the newspaper, it is not distributed to them. As for Seniors, I decided to continue to provide the paper to those seniors for as long as possible.
So many readers, withdrew themselves from the equation, but there are still many people who do read the paper and we still have an avid readership, especially in the surrounding counties, Chester and Delaware.
Read more "Here's the Scoop", SCOOP USA Media, November 1, 2019, page 3
Many of our readers are familiar with the Scoop story and its history and its importance to the Black Community. As with many print newspapers, we too, have and are struggling to stay in business and continue to be a resource for our community,
Last year this time I took a Leap of Faith with hopes that I could continue the Scoop Legacy and that I could help our community understand the value of Black Media and fact that we must tell our stories, if we want to them told properly. Well, to say the least, I have not been successful. While I attend many events and speak on behalf of all media platforms and encourage people to read, write and support Black media. I don’t think my efforts have helped change the narrative or even initiate the conversation.
I work day in and day out in a primarily one person office and attend events, edit and publish and sometimes deliver this weekly paper and for some reason, everyone wants to be in the paper, but no one... wants to advertise to support the paper or help keep Black media alive. In a time when we need to have our own voices, it is unbelievable. Mainstream media, makes loads of money off of its efforts to diminish the value and image of black and brown people... plastering deaths and negative news at every opportunity possible. Even when there is good news the 1-3 seconds that is devoted to telling those stories is nice but never to the extent of those damaging stories. Yet, we will call and support those venues and gladly share our news with them. I am not writing this update to bash or belittle any venue because the reality is that each of us has a role and in order to be effective we each have to be here to provide that balance. When community forums, go out of business the balance is shifted and you no longer have a variety of news and information, you just have one stream of information which may be right or wrong... but who will question if there is only one.
I say all of this to basically say that I have tried to overcome the obstacles of being a minority newspaper and have supported all those that I have been able to support over the past 20 months; with the goal of remaining a FREE paper that is funded through advertisements. After 20 months, of juggling sales and literally begging for support, I have come to the point in which I have to think of Scoop as a business and not a community initiative... In order to stay in business the paper cannot and will no longer be a FREE newspaper.
Effective the week of August 12, 2019 there will be a .60 cents per paper surcharge. That is $15 for a 1/2 bundle 25 papers and $30 for a full bundle of 50 papers. This fee will pay all costs associated with printing and distribution. We will still ask and encourage people to advertise and use the platform as a means of communicating with the communities we service. However, those places that would normally have the newspaper for FREE distribution will no longer carry the Scoop. For those who have annual subscriptions the $.60 charge will be added to your rates upon renewal. The new rate for mail subscriptions will include the cost of the paper, as well as postage.
If you wish to subscribe and be a carrier for Scoop Publications, please contact the Scoop office 215-309-3139.
I have struggled, prayed and cried over this decision, and have had to realize that If I don’t request the assistance of our readers this paper will cease to exist, as has many other community papers in the Philadelphia area. Black media is definitely struggling and today we account for less that 10% of the news and information that is covered. As the majority of citizens in this city that is a very sad and incomprehensible fact.
I hope that the community will support and read the Scoop and join in our efforts to help our communities tell our own stories.
Read more Publishers Notes, Scoop USA Media, August 2, 2019
Keeping things in perspective. It is important to look at life and the obstacles and curve balls that are thrown our way and really consider the reasons why “Failure is not an option.” Each and every day we are provided with answers to the questions, why we must keep fighting; why the struggle is real and what is at the end of the rainbow. As I travelled to events this weekend, I was Blessed to be reminded of why it is so important to stay the course and to work toward the betterment of our society.
Lambda Kappa Omega Sorority, Inc.
Crystallites Annual Pancake Breakfast
I started my journey Saturday morning at a Breakfast with the Lamda Kappa Omega Sorority, Inc., Crystallites, a group that was founded by some of my close friends. These women have provided a platform for young ladies which utilizes the principles of the African American sororities and fraternities to teach the young ladies the importance of sisterhood, responsibility and volunteerism, among other things.
The adult members are big sisters to the girls and spend many hours with the young ladies investing time and energy into the development of these grounded young sisters. I was very fortunate to have my daughter enroll in the Crystallites almost five years ago, and I was in awe to see the impact the Crystallites has had on her development. I watched and admired her Saturday as she assisted a younger sister serve customers at their Annual Pancake breakfast at Applebee’s in Jenkintown.
The entire time I was there, I could only think of and be thankful that my daughter is a part of this group and that she had gotten me up and out to experience the Breakfast... This experience helped me to answer some of the questions that were weighing on my heart. It has been said, “And a child will lead you.. As I sat and watched, this adage was reinforced and really helped me understand the need for us to keep trying and working to ensure we touch the lives of as many people as possible. We have to teach adults and kids and help them understand the value of Unity. Its amazing, how strangers can come together and become a family.
Thank you Lambda Kappa Alpha and the Cyrstallites for all you do!!! If you are interested you can look up Lambda Kappa Omega and the Crystallites at https://2577lko.com
Read More, Scoop USA Media Digital July 5, 2019
I have been told that one thing is certain: Change will come whether you want it or not. And, for Scoop, change has definitely come and it is not by choice, but a necessity.
I am sure many of you have read my monthly updates and are aware of the struggles that I have had trying to communicate the value of BlackMedia and the value of the people who read Scoop every week. There has been some success, and people are starting to recognize the Scoop as an important media source for the Community. But it is still a slow and steady progression. There many times that I find myself juggling, more than I did as a single parent, to make ends meet. Often with no staff and/or a skeleton staff. And, I definitely have bills that I didn’t have this time last year. But I have chalked all this up to a learning experience and the nuts and bolts of owning your own business. While there are definitely some challenges, there are also Win/Wins.
Read more Scoop USA Media, December 7, 2018
Over the past seven months, I have tried to write a column at least once a month to share my journey with you, my supporters and Scoop family, as I try to fill the void that was left by Sonny Driver...
To say the least, I knew when this started, that I would never fill his shoes but I would definitely try to do my best to ensure that Scoop flourished.
For the many of you who have read my story, you know that I have been running this paper, on a midnight schedule, working my lifetime, full time job during the day, and at night and on weekends I’m here at Scoop. Well, I am finally understanding the value of giving 100% and I have learned that I definitely cannot give the community my full attention, if I am at work somewhere else... So, my latest lesson has been understanding and accepting the fact, that I need to take a Leap of Faith, and let go, and let God. “Trust and Faith”
Read more Publisher's Notes with Sherri Darden. in of this weeks latest news, and check out ou columnists on Scoop USA Newspaper, June 1, 2018