News and advertising content for Fort Madison and Lee County, Iowa, and surrounding areas. Website and social media publish 24/7; digital e–Edition publishes Sunday thru Friday mornings by 6am. All content is free. Chuck and Lee Vandenberg are co-founders/co-owners. Revenue: subscription donations, advertising, graphic and web site design.
Lee K. Vandenberg
Lee County, Iowa and surrounding areas
Facebook is our most effective means of engaging our audience given the shear number of page likes we have and the interactions we have with our followers. A close second would be Chuck's involvement in the community and his prominence in the community – for almost 3 years, he's been the sole reporter, getting to all government, school board meetings, covering all sports events, volunteering for our local Chamber/Downtown organizations, etc.
Our goal is to be known as the #1 media source in Lee County, Iowa and the surrounding communities by delivering in-depth, unbiased, factual reporting first and free to everyone on virtually every digital platform available.
We measure this by the feedback we receive from the community and the growth in our audience (followers on social media, visitors to our website).
I believe these methods are effective for us because, even though everything we publish is digital, we're still "real" people in our communities that our readers have come to know and trust. People ultimately value relationships and we're able to strengthen those by being involved in our communities and by interacting with our readers.
Until very recently, it's been only the two of us trying to grow this business. We have been doing this on our own, with our own money – we didn't seek out any loans, grants, etc. so it's been difficult to expand. We also work 16-18 hour days so it can be exhausting.
Iowa principal’s alleged ‘hold his banana’ incident results in discipline > https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2018/07/25/fort-madison-school-principal-todd-dirthhold-banana-incident-discipline-iowa-schools/822995002/
Principal in fruit costume asked female student to ‘hold his banana,’ Iowa complaint alleges > https://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/article215631965.html
Principal’s question about his ‘banana’ sparks disciplinary action > https://nypost.com/2018/07/26/principals-question-about-his-banana-sparks-disciplinary-action/
In addition to this story, Pen City Current is regularly cited in area news media reports that share our articles and photos – Radio Keokuk, WGEM, KHQA.