From the first letter to our readers by Bud Herron in 2015:

“You are looking at HSJ Online, Hope, Indiana's first electronic newspaper.

“HSJ Online is to a great degree the direct-line descendent of The Hope Star-Journal and is a tribute to Larry Simpson and all the owners/editors/publishers who kept that newspaper serving the expanded Hope area for over 100 years.

“Harmon S. Dixon started publishing The Hope Star in 1906. Then, in 1912, he purchased another local weekly, The Hope Journal, to create the newspaper that was to continue publishing for more than a century.

“Neither newspaper, however, had been the first in town. There had been many through the 19th Century. The first was The Watchman, which began publication in 1867.

“Through the 20th Century, numerous other owners/editors/publishers ran the newspaper.”

I opened this article with background related to our local newspaper feeling as if our history of offering news to the northeastern part of Bartholomew County for many years is of great significance.

After Larry Simpson asked me to write articles for The Hope Star-Journal, I learned much about the newspaper industry due to Larry's willingness to share the intricacies. Frankly, it was Larry's passion for Hope and journalism that kept our local paper continuing from 2004-14, not the money.

Our move to a digital not-for-profit and free reading newspaper within the Heritage of Hope umbrella was not an easy decision. In retrospect, it was the correct move as many towns and cities no longer have a newspaper. Time after time, I have noticed Larry's passion to be widespread in our community. If it was not true, HSJ Online would not still be in existence and entering our seventh year.

What is the future of HSJ Online?

Change is necessary in all organizations. Will we upgrade our site as we did in the middle of 2018? Will we continue to increase our readership as we have each year since 2015? Facebook Likes now stand at 1,575. Will we continue to find volunteer and freelance writers to submit articles covering a variety of news from the community? Certainly, there is much worthy news in the Hope area! (Please contact us if interested in writing.) Will we meet our budget projected to be around $17,500 in 2021? A combination of grants, individual contributions, and ad sponsors have enabled us to stay afloat and to remain in good standing.

As I have always stated, HSJ Online belongs to the community; where we go hinges on the community. There are several ways to help with one simply being to inform others that we have a newspaper as well as a mobile app. If wishing to make a donation, then you can mail it to Post Office Box 21 or process it electronically by clicking our donation ad. Due to the coronavirus, we elected not to have our yearly fundraiser at WILLow LeaVes.

If wishing to talk to me personally, then I can be reached at 812-390-6550, or you can contact any of our other team members.

David Webster, Jessica Brown, Michael Dean, Bud Herron, Don Hewitt, Terri Young, Howard Zachariah, John Clark, Stephanie Shoaf