Aug. 1 is a day of transition for Plumas County. After more than 150 years of providing news to readers throughout the county, Feather Publishing Company is closing Plumas News, its online edition, and The Plumas Sun launching.
Early in July, when Plumas News made its unexpected announcement, a group of local citizens gathered to discuss an alternative to the information vacuum we were facing. The prospect of no local news was unimaginable to those who believe accurate information is a cornerstone of democracy. The initial goal was to avoid the void.
“Today it has a name, a website, a fiscal sponsor and an editorial team,” said Sierra Blanton, one of the key organizers.
The Plumas Sun will provide coverage of local government, including the Plumas County Board of Supervisors, county government and the city of Portola. Information about up-coming events provided by local, state and federal organizations will be posted on its website, plumas-news.org.
As the news team expands and funding stabilizes, The Plumas Sun will increase its coverage to include a sheriff’s blotter, community events, features, births and obituaries, and public notices.
Heading The Plumas Sun editorial team is Jane Braxton Little, a veteran of Feather Publishing Company who has been an independent journalist for 30 years. She will be working with James Wilson, Suzanne Schramel-Stirling and others to bring local news and events to Quincy, Greenville, Chester, Portola and every corner of the county.
“We will start small to ensure the high-quality journalism readers in this county deserve. Then watch us grow!” said Little.
The Plumas Sun is a non-profit organization supported by donations, subscriptions and grant funding, Blanton said. It is working with The Almanor Foundation as its fiscal sponsor.
Newspapers and press coverage are indispensable in rural communities, providing a vital platform for communication, connection and community development, said Susan Bryner, Almanor Foundation’s executive director. “Without them we risk losing our voice, identity and ability to thrive. The Almanor Foundation is pleased to be able to support this vital function in our community,” she said.
The Plumas Sun is working in close cooperation with KQNY in Quincy. The new news organization is looking forward to collaborating with community groups and the public to bring information to residents throughout the county, Blanton said.
“We can’t thank Feather Publishing Company and Plumas News enough for the service they have provided for so many years,” she said. “We hope to continue offering the accurate, unbiased news we need to empower the public and strengthen our communities,” said Sierra Blanton, a key organizer of The Plumas Sun.
Blanton particularly thanked Debra Moore, a “one-woman wonder” who has held the company’s news team together for 30 years.
The Plumas Sun is accepting donations through The Almanor Foundation at https://almanorfoundation.org/plumas-county-news-fund/. It will eventually accept advertisements, Blanton said.
Working in collaboration with committed leaders throughout the community has been encouraging and exciting, with The Plumas Sun the proud product, Blanton said.
“We have a brilliant set of minds working on all areas of this project. I deeply admire their dedication and absence of hesitation when answering this call to action,” she said. “We look forward to working with all who share our commitment to strong journalism for strong communities.”