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Why your help is needed to keep local journalism strong

Original post made on Jul 2, 2011

Thomas Jefferson might well sound the alarm today about profound changes underway in the media business, ranging from the way news is gathered and presented to the way it is funded. These changes are threatening the viability of quality local journalism everywhere.

Read the full letter from the publisher here Web Link posted Friday, July 1, 2011, 2:14 PM

Comments (4)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gretchen R
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 2, 2011 at 11:50 am

I, for one, will get out my checkbook and help the Weekly. I realize that the Weekly wouldn't be asking for money if it weren't a serious matter. I can sympathize with how humiliating it must be to ask the community for help, but Mr. Johnson states his case quite well. He puts up a very brave face on the situation. I have 2 suggestions for him.

1. Like many people, I don't read the Weekly that arrives at my house because I have already read the stories online. Many other people aren't interested in the paper and toss it into the recycling. You should consider cutting back on your printing and deliver only to homes that request it. Or eliminate printing all together, and become a completely online publication. I doubt the advertising is very effective anyway, due to the number of people who throw out the Weekly without reading it. So convince those advertisers to place their ads on your website.

2. Approach the City for funding like various arts organizations have done. There is precedence for this. NPR and PBS receive some Federal funding. I believe the BBC is government funded, too. The Weekly should be treated as a community asset, like our Parks, Community Centers and Libraries. I have a feeling the City will give you a warm reception and try to find a way to help.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Journalist
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm

How come this is labelled as a "Guest Opinion", when it is the publisher and founder of the Weekly that is writing this piece???

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Editor and Publisher
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm

The Daily Post reported on January 27, 2009 that told the Palo Alto Rotary Club the previous day that "four or five years from now his paper and others in his chain might drop their print eiditions and only appear online."

It is good business sense to encourage readers to become paid subscribers now, rather than wait until the Weekly stops publishing the print edition.

When the Weekly launced its daily electronic edition, Bill Johnson wrote in the September 26, 2008 paper that "the Weekly has been profitable and financially stable for 27 years."

 +   Like this comment
Posted by advertising
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Internet advertising does work. Companies like Facebook and Google make most of their (huge) profits through internet advertising. Old style print advertising is becoming less and less popular, but that does not mean that advertising cannot be hugely profitable. Businesses just need to adapt to the 21st century.

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