No need to dive in-depth into what a dumpster fire of a year 2020 has been. We all know. The pandemic has altered the way many of us view life for good. Even how we celebrate Christmas this year. And we really understand the ramifications of COVID here at Reel 360 and Reel Chicago.
Because we reported on it and in some cases, experienced it personally.
This year, Reel 360 and Reel Chicago published an astounding 2500 stories. If you want to compare to a few years ago, when our founder Ruth Ratny published Reel Chicago, the outlet published nine stories a week. Nine great ones, but nine. Then Ruth would take off for two-week breaks in July and December.
The 2500 stories (and admittedly there were some we missed or just couldn’t get to) covered an array of Chicago and national news. Advertising. Film. TV. Production mainly. But, COVID, Trump and Black Lives forced us to re-think how we viewed our coverage and evolve. We began to realize that our world is way more complex than those four broad categories and our production community is directly affected by events outside our bubble.
We responded by expanding nationally (way more than we thought) covering ad agencies, production companies and TV news from both coasts and in between. We reported on films from indie filmmakers to major studios. We altered our TV category to include streaming and sports. From D-Nice (our MVP of the pandemic) to union news to Pornhub we were there keeping our readers informed.
And yes, we even covered politics. How could we not.
Politics, COVID, and Black Lives Matter crossed over into every aspect of our lives professionally and personally. Some of our readers questioned why would we cover former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders Huckabee stepping down? Our response – how could we not. Some wondered aloud, in an angry tone (being kind here), how we could cover Black Lives Matter?
Because Black Lives DO Matter. The movement doesn’t mean we believe one race’s life is more important than another as some of our readers have accused. However, it became clear from the news we reported – George Floyd and Breonna Taylor to name a few – that Black Lives Matter needed to be said again and again. Until people understood.
We also made a valiant effort to showcase our advertisers, who were caught off guard (like all of us) by COVID and had to adapt. We did that in the form of The New Normal, Production Central, Reel Pro, ZOOM interviews, special reports and promoting their work on our sites and our social media.
You, our readers, have responded with kindness and positivity. And it shows in our views and visitors as Reel 360 and Reel Chicago grew to over 1 million views. So when we say, we feel like the Little Engine That Could, we genuinely believe it.
Grateful? Yes. We are healthy, we are pleased with meeting our readership goals, and more than anything we are grateful for our advertisers. They are the fuel that keeps the lights burning and our butts seated in front of a computer everyday.
However we are gratefully and humbly tired. Like really tired. So as of today, we will say, “Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza and Happy New Year.” Then, disappear until our “End of the Year” reports.
Happy holidays from all of us at Reel 360 and Reel Chicago. THANK YOU for your support.