Paul Huntsman is the owner and editorial board member of The Coronado News.

This past year, I finally took the step, and purchased a home in Coronado.

My father’s service in the U.S. Navy brought my parents to Coronado in the 1960s, and they always dreamed of one day having the means to stay in the iconic Hotel del Coronado.

In the 1970s, we traveled to the island and crammed our large family into one room at the Del.

Once we arrived too early, and spent the night in the park adjacent to City Hall, and Coronado’s finest evicted us at sunrise.

For the next 50 years, Coronado became a second home for my parents, and many siblings.

On a trip to look over a home purchase, my eye caught the “beach closure” signs during an early morning run, and, rather than dismiss it to weather or tides, I began to look into it.

I noticed a few stories reference sewage creep, that had only gotten worse. Very little else was reported.

The pristine beaches of Coronado are among the most beautiful on the planet, and I yearned to know more about the causes and effects, and potential remedies for this wide-ranging environmental and health problem on the island.

Immersed in local journalism

For the past 10 years, I’ve immersed myself in local journalism, which led to the purchase of the fledgling “paper of record” in Utah: The Salt Lake Tribune. My interest in purchasing the institution was twofold, to bring the paper back into local hands, and find a sustainable pathway forward for local journalism.

After four long frustrating years, I made the decision to convert The Salt Lake Tribune into the nation’s first legacy daily nonprofit newspaper.

Two years later, massive losses transitioned to cash surplus, thanks in part to a community that values quality journalism – the bedrock of our democracy.

With the backdrop of beach closures and sewage spill on our beaches in Coronado, why not bring a team together and address this?

I have great respect for anyone willing to invest in local journalism, but my experience has taught me that quality, not quantity, and restless, veteran reporters, combined with skilled, and sage younger talent, can succeed.

Unprecedented disruption

For decades, journalism has been going through an unprecedented disruption. Changes in technology, consumer behavior, advertising, industry consolidation, and now, everyone who has a smart phone is both a publisher, and a consumer.

Too many journalists have been slow to adapt, and that has led to thousands of news deserts around the country. The verdict of these shutdowns?

Lower community engagement, higher partisanship and less trust in their institutions.

The world around us is driven by technology, science, media, finance, and complex litigation.

Unless newsrooms develop a healthy appetite to consume and understand these skill sets and disciplines, they will continue to languish.

Sewage investigation

Can Coronado have a beachhead with these skill sets?

We’ll do our best, and hope our presence raises the level of competition which benefits the entire community.

Our first investigative piece of a multi-part series on the sewage crisis is unprecedented work on the island and itself, worth the price to start up this venture. That sets the foundation and water mark for our product.

I wouldn’t embark on this venture if I didn’t have the leadership of Craig Harris – longtime investigative reporter with Gannett, and San Diego resident.

He’s assembled an unprecedented team on the island. They’ll be at your school board, and city council meetings, others events, and will frequent many of your businesses.

Please take notice of their presence, and your contributions will only add the quality of output.

A great community deserves a great newspaper. We’re here to stay, and look forward to building this for the betterment of our community.

Paul Huntsman is owner and editorial board member of The Coronado News.

Paul Huntsman

Paul Huntsman is owner and editorial board member of The Coronado News and has a home in Coronado. He's a lifelong Republican and has strong support for the military, especially the U.S. Navy. He strongly believes in a free-market economy, and wants to see small and large businesses thrive.

Coronado News staff

The Coronado News is a 24-hour news website and direct-mail free newspaper to all residents and businesses of Coronado as we cover city government, schools, businesses, entertainment and the Navy.