It was 20 years ago ‘today’
Moonshine Ink is still around to say
Yeah, we’ve really been around a while
And that’s guaranteed to make us smile
So may we introduce to you
The tab you’ve known for all these years …
Tahoe/Truckee’s Lively Monthly Ra-a-a-a-ag

It’s wonderful to be here,
It’s certainly a thrill
You’re such a lovely readership
We like that you take us home with you
We love that you take us home …

THE SUN ON THE MOON: The Sierra Sun did a profile of Moonshine Ink the month after the fledgling paper launched. Both co-founders are former Sun employees. File photo

The story began with two local women, Mayumi Elegado and Anne Grogan, who thought the Tahoe/Truckee region was pretty fresh and needed a publication that reflected its awesomeness. While the content would be rich, we envisioned an underground flavor (consistent with brewing up moonshine) in a stapled ragtag piece that you might find in the local coffee shop bathroom. But, as visions are wont to do, the dream blossomed.

In the ramp up to the first edition, we developed our coverage area, booked advertisers, and called community movers and shakers, as well as local agencies, to let them know we were coming. We went big and booked a slot on a bona fide newsprint press. To meet the first edition deadline, we stayed up almost four days straight. Delirious, we picked up the papers in Carson City and started delivering them to local streets on the eve of Halloween 2002. Moonshine Ink was born.

At the beginning, we tried to cover every single meeting of most public agencies, publishing detailed minutes. To loop in the Latino community, we published stories bilingually with Spanish and English side by side. The length of the paper sometimes soared over 72 pages. We wanted to cover it all; it was exhausting. Weary, Anne decided to bow out and sold her share of the paper to Mayumi in 2006. Mayumi should have let well enough alone. But the dream wouldn’t let go.

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And here we are, 20 years into it.

After becoming the sole owner, Mayumi scaled back on certain parts, while beefing up elements that seemed more vital. (Goodbye minutes, the agencies do that; Hello stories that dive deep.) She refined the details, but not Moonshine’s core mission — to be a community newspaper. Through the years, incredible staff members have flowed through the riverside office and the pages you readers have held in your hands. Writers, photographers, creatives, and community troopers, they have come to be a part of a mission-driven team, each adding their singular contribution.

There have been the fun-loving parts: seasonal publications such as the Tahoe Winter Times and Tahoe Summer Lovin’ and the beloved Tiny Porch Concerts series. As well as the more serious side of life with in-depth reporting of our local government, which is sometimes contentious, sometimes cathartic, always community-minded. At the root of all our work remains a focus on context. Moonshine Ink develops stories aimed to help our community truly understand itself. “No” to soundbites or fluff; “yes” to engaging content with substance. Oh, and we make sure to get a good night’s sleep these days.

Throughout the years, we have remained fiercely independent — by ownership and in mindset — and committed to our region and its people. The paper has been profoundly lucky to have dedicated and passionate staff who see the value in quality journalism and this beautiful place we call home. Yet our readers are our heart. They keep us keeping on.

The following double-page spread puts on display every single cover of the 240 editions we’ve published. Within each thumbnail, countless stories are held. Such is the way of our awesome community.

After that, find the full list of our members — the people and businesses who support our work to keep us viable. Throughout every paper, see advertisers who know our readers are a great target audience. Please be sure to support these businesses and organizations! Together, we make our community strong.

Happy 20th, everyone!

Twenty years of MOONSHINE! May there be many more to come.

 

 

Author

  • Mayumi Peacock

    Hailing from a U.S. military family and a graduate of the University of Florida, Mayumi Peacock has lived in several corners of the country and globe, yet Tahoe/Truckee has been her home since 1999. She is founder and publisher of Moonshine Ink, the region’s award-winning independent newspaper, which continues to be created by, for, and of the community. Other passions include family, animals, books, healthy living, and humane food.

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