Jonathan Wilson's Editor's Note from Issue Eight
The original Blizzard, the weekly newspaper set up in Sunderland in 1893, ran to 12 issues. When we started The Blizzard two years ago, taking inspiration from "the organ of Mr Sidney Duncan" as it described itself, my initial target was just to get through the first year and then, beyond that, to make it to 12 issues so we could at least claim to be the longest-running Blizzard. We're not there yet, but as we celebrate our second birthday, there's no reason to think we won't be here next year with Issue Twelve and hopefully for a long time after that.
For that, there's a huge number of people I have to thank. To start with, everybody in the office in Sunderland for having faith in the project, for seeing so many ways to improve it and for working so hard to make it happen. Then the sub-editors, illustrators and designers for taking the raw words and turning them to the form you're reading now. Then the stockists (a full list is available on the website), particularly those who took a gamble on us before we were established. And then the writers, for continuing to produce the ideas and content. All of these people, at least initially, put in time and effort without any guarantee they would ever receive any financial reward. Let's not pretend they're making huge amounts now, but at least there's some recompense from the profit-share scheme.
And then there's the readers. I confess I was sceptical about the pay-what-you-like model but thanks to your sense of what is fair, it's been a great success. The plan was devised to try to make The Blizzard accessible to as many people as possible and that would only work if readers respected the model; by and large, I'd say you have. So huge thanks for that — especially to those who have helped spread the word. We have no advertising budget so please do keep telling people about us.
And it's that last point, I think, that is most important. With The Blizzard, more than with any other venture I've been involved with, there's a great sense of collaboration, among Blizzard staff, contributors and readers. That comes across most strongly at the Q&As we've done — in London, Sunderland, Leeds and, this month, Swansea. There's a great sense of community, of people who see the value in what we are doing and like to discuss football in a particular way. That's something we'd like to develop, partly through further Q&As across Britain and, perhaps, beyond, but also with some changes we'll be making to our website.
So look out for future events and for those new developments, but most of all accept my thanks. For The Blizzard is a collaborative process and it wouldn't have survived these two years without everybody's involvement.