MUNISING, Mich. (WJMN) – For 125 years, The Munising News served as the sole newspaper for Munising and other surrounding communities prior to printing its final issue and closing its doors in March 2021, joining a list of over 2,000 papers to close in the past 18 years. Now just over a year later, The Munising Beacon is a new home for news in Alger County.

“The Munising Beacon is hopefully going to be the right kind of media source for Alger County,” said Brice Burge, editor, The Munising Beacon. “Something that is hyperlocal, available to people on multiple different platforms and route to that way. The people of the county can be informed. They can be entertained and they can learn new ways to care about their neighbors.”

“Anytime you hear that community loses a newspaper that’s, that’s a sad thing,” said Steve Stiffler, publisher and owner, The Munising Beacon and Newberry News. “That’s a sad thing all across the country. I mean, since 2018, over 1,300 papers have gone under and it continues today. So when we saw that things are shutting down here, again, it’s what can we do to try to help fill that void? And recently purchasing the news a couple years ago, I mean, we’re really invested in the community there. This opened up over here, we thought, well, let’s fill that void. We’re able to partner up with Brice here and yeah, just we had to make something happen.”

The paper aims to give the area its due through covering all aspects of life in Alger County, from government meetings to local sports and everything in between.

“The first issue that we pushed out through our digital channels, we received 15 or 20 emails,” said Stiffler. “‘Thank you. Thank you. This is what we need.’ So the community here and really those that know about us, I mean, the word is still getting out. But those that know about us, they love it.”

So far, the key to success is staying active and involved in the happenings in the community.

“Everybody’s got to be on the ball at every single thing because if we’re not then we’re missing out on a group that may need to be representative in a specific issue,” said Burge. “It could be an issue that people need to learn about so that way they can take care of the neighbors a little bit better. And sometimes it’s just about preserving culture, which is a big aspect.”

For the time being, you can access The Munising Beacon’s coverage digitally at munisingbeacon.com. However, there are hopes to expand further in due time.

“The goal and the direction that that we’re looking at and it’ll happen in time is to have some sort of print product,” said Stiffler. “But there’s a lot of costs that go with that and we don’t want to put the cart in front of the horse. There’s steps that need to be taken to get to that and we don’t want to put something out that people will discount and just laugh it off. So quality is what we want.”