Actually happy birthday to us and by us I mean the entire Daily Journal family. As of Monday, the Peninsula’s little paper that could turned the big 1-4. That’s right; we survived the terrible twos, squeezed through years of tweendom and are officially in our teenage years.
If the paper were an actual teenager it would be whining about not receiving One Direction concert tickets as a gift and blowing up Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and social sites far too cool for adults to know about with selfies and proclamations that “OMG!!!! Can’t believe it’s my bday!! #partytime.”
We would be old enough to stay at home on our own but not quite old enough to drive. We’d be in that age range when we don’t want to be seen with anyone vaguely related to us unless they come equipped with a credit card and even then lets hope they drop us a full two blocks from the mall. God forbid anybody actually see us needing a lift from mom or dad rather than having an older friend to play chauffeur.
We would feel all grown up already but actual adulthood might still feel light years away.
Being a part of this news adventure called the Daily Journal for the better part of its life span is kind of like that, too. Except, instead of One Direction tickets I think all we really want is a a perfect edition without typos or missing story jumps. Every ad would be a breeze to sell and every letter to the editor would sing our praises. And we would probably not head to the mall. Ever tell a journalist to hit the shopping centers early the day after Thanksgiving for a Black Friday madness article? Shudder.
At 14, it doesn’t feel like the Daily Journal is the new kid on the block anymore. We crawled, we toddled into solid walking, had some growth spurts, probably threw some tantrums, went through a few design revamps (I like to think of this as getting our braces off) and is now the coolest guy at the junior high dance. Maybe.
We are not that far different than any other Silicon Valley venture, moving from the hardscrabble beginning when nobody beyond a small circle even knew what we were or what we did to years later when the name on the door needs no explanation. We have yet to become a verb like Google — I’m not even sure what telling some one to “go Daily Journal it” would even mean — but we are far from an unknown quantity anymore. It’s rare — or at least, more rare — that we are confused by sources or readers with like-sounding publications. I can’t recall the last time somebody asked in that low post-funeral tone, “How are you guys doing?” as though they had already mentally composed the epitaph and pounded the final nail in the local news biz coffin.
Fourteen might not sound like that big a deal to those who’ve surpassed the mark but to me — and I think it’s safe to say the rest of us here at the Daily Journal — its a pretty important passing of another year still thriving, still delivering quality coverage news and still making our way in the world. The question now is what the future holds. Like any 14-year-old, we’ve got many more good years ahead and the sky’s the limit.
Michelle Durand’s column “Off the Beat” runs every Tuesday and Thursday. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (650) 344-5200 ext. 102. Follow Michelle on Twitter @michellemdurand What do you think of this column? Send a letter to the editor: email@example.com.