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Looking in the Rearview Mirror
Feature

Looking in the Rearview Mirror 

Who are these people and where did they come from? Hi, I’m Suzanne Guldimann, editor of the Topanga New Times. Bonnie Morgan, TNT’s publisher, and I were reflecting on our evolution here at Topanga New Times as we prepared to start our third year in print, and we realized that when we started we never really introduced ourselves.

When Bonnie launched this publication it was just at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and no one knew what the next few weeks or months would hold, let alone the next year or two, but the one thing we knew is that Topanga and its neighboring communities in the Santa Monica Mountains needed a source of information and maybe a little inspiration to help get us through what promised to be a challenging time. The Messenger Mountain News had just ended its run, and there was no local source of news and resources at that time. 

We created the Topanga New Times to be a hybrid print and online news magazine and lifestyle and arts publication. We worked on our laptops from home and didn’t have time to worry about introductions. Our first issue debuted on May 8, 2020, with the goal of “making sure Topanga residents have up-to-date access to resources, events and activities during this challenging time.” We featured a take-out guide, COVID-19-safe Mother’s Day ideas, and a photo feature on TCC’s roving Mariachi band, and how it inspired and uplifted the hearts of canyon residents. 

In that first editorial I wrote: “This isn’t a newspaper. It’s not a replacement for the much loved local paper currently on hiatus, or a competitor for that paper when it returns in a new incarnation. Instead, the Topanga New Times is meant as a lifeline during one of the most difficult times in living memory.”

We pledged to help bridge the gap and provide essential community information, a calendar of online events, and coronavirus emergency resources, in the hope of giving our neighbors reassurance, supporting  our local businesses, giving advertisers the reach they needed, and to  share a little canyon spirit to help all of us cope with the fallout of this global disaster.

I hope we’ve done a good job of delivering what we pledged.

As we head into our third year in publication and our third year of the pandemic, we continue to grow and evolve, but we remain committed to service journalism, and our mission continues to be providing information, inspiration, and sustainable and essential resources for Topanga and all residents of the Santa Monica Mountains. We cover a wide range of subjects, with the unifying theme of life in the WUI—wildland urban interface. 

Our new tagline–“Voice of the Mountains”—is a better reflection of our mission and the scope of our publication. This past year we explored multiple aspects of the Malibu community throughout history as well as Calabasas. (See “When Calabasas Was the Wild West” by Suzanne Guldimann https://topanganewtimes.com/2021/07/30/when-calabasas-was-the-wild-west/

This year we will be expanding our coverage of other neighboring communities.

Website While our print publication is still favored by many (our motto is “print is precious”) we haven’t neglected our digital footprint. Our online readership has more than tripled since our first year. We offer modestly priced advertising but only a few brave souls take advantage of the traffic we see there. See for yourself www.topanganewtimes.com and sign up for our weekly newsletter guiding you to the best and the latest news and writing we offer.

Social Media Many of you follow us on social media; look out for more suggestions of our other most-read articles from our wonderful staff of contributors. Check us out on Facebook.com/TopangaNewTimes; Instagram and Twitter  @TopangaNewTimes

Our covers have been eliciting interest and at times astonishment! Check out some of our reader favorites from the past year. 

Distribution. Topanga New Times is a bi-weekly publication delivered to every home and business in the 90290 area; however, did you know you can pick up your own copy at one of our many partner distribution spots? See the current list of partner businesses here.

Subscriptions For those living outside of these areas and still wanting to enjoy our print product, consider a mailed subscription copy. ($75 per year for 26 issues or $7 per month) Send your payment and address to get started to hello@topanganewtimes.com

Advertising None of this could happen without our advertisers. We want to thank them and urge other businesses to consider being a part of our publication. Our readers are creative, environmentally conscious, thoughtful people who care deeply about our communities and our world.

We continue to offer marketing consulting, graphic design, photography and video services for our clients. Reach out to ads@topanganewtimes.com to discuss a promotion program that works for your business.

We are an entirely homegrown, family owned and operated publication. Our writers and contributors are invested in the community and care deeply about our mountains and all of the things that make this place special. You can read our biographical shorts on our website: topanganewtimes.com/who-we-are. Our email contacts are there as well, and we are always happy to hear from our readers.  We wouldn’t be here without your involvement and support. Thank you. We are grateful to share this adventure with you.

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