God jul og godt nytt år!
Dear readers and friends,
As I write this, my final message to you in 2021, I am returning from a whirlwind trip to the East Coast that has turned out to be another adventure for me as editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American and a valuable learning and networking opportunity of our newspaper.
This past week had taken me to New York and Washington, D.C, as I have followed in the footsteps of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon on an official visit to both these cities. Among other things, in New York City, I was honored to attend a fabulous Christmas gala, and in D.C., for the first time I experienced the lighting of the Christmas tree that stands as a beautiful symbol of the friendship between Norway and the United Sates—both extraordinary experiences for me.
But what is perhaps most memorable from this trip were the personal encounters I had with many of you, our readers and contributors. I always learn so much talking to you face to face: your interests, your response to our content, what you are doing, and what you would like to do. It helps me and our team shape the content of our newspaper, so that it is meaningful to our community. We are always here to listen, and even if we can’t meet in person, I hope you will the opportunity to reach out to us if there is something on your mind; we will always take it to heart.
A memorable year
The year 2021 was overall very memorable for The Norwegian American. Despite the circumstances of the pandemic, we have continued to see a steady growth in our subscriber numbers, and there is no indication that this upward trend is stopping. We continue to receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from our readers (only today a little note came into “verdens flotteste avis”—the finest newspaper in the world—words that warmed our hearts as we are working on what for many is the most important issue of the year).
But, without a doubt, the most important event of the past year was the official acquisition of our paper by Norway House, the National Norwegian Center in Minneapolis. It has put our organization on a much more solid foundation for the future, and I am happy to report that this relationship is working. We now have an expanded team with more expertise and energy—and we are seeing results. Our new “family” meets online on a regular basis, and we take every opportunity possible to meet in person. The groundbreaking for Norway House last September was a high point, and only this past week, I was happy to meet up with Norway House Executive Director Christina Carleton and her family for the celebrations here in D.C. Together, we are all stronger.
That is not to say that the past year has not brought challenges. We operate with limited resources, demanding a great deal from all those involved in our day-to-day production. We read the news here at home, in Norway, and around the world and wonder at times what each new day will bring,
But if asked what word best describes the way I feel this holiday season, it would be grateful. I am grateful to my colleagues, who so tirelessly support me, grateful to our donors, and grateful to all those who tell us that what we are doing is making a difference in their lives. Our paper is something unique and special and has sustained many through these difficult times.
So dear readers, as I say “God Jul” to you, I also want to say “tusen takk!” You are the ones who make all of this possible. From everyone at The Norwegian American, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Lori Ann Reinhall
The Norwegian American
This article originally appeared in the Dec. 17, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.