The Palo Alto Weekly has launched a campaign to secure a healthy future by asking readers to begin paying for a portion of the costs of operating the Weekly and its popular website, Palo Alto Online.
Through a letter to all residents and a print and online advertising campaign, the Weekly aims to replace the recession-driven decline in print advertising with membership subscriptions from people who value local journalism, regardless of whether viewed in print or online.
"As more residents turn online to stay informed about the community, and businesses rocked by the recession suspend their advertising or turn to inexpensive marketing alternatives, the traditional business model that allowed local journalism to be almost solely supported through advertising is quickly evaporating," said Weekly Publisher Bill Johnson.
"These changes threaten the viability of quality local journalism everywhere, including in our community," Johnson said.
Readers are being asked to sign up for a monthly payment program of at least $5 per month (17 cents a day) by going to www.SupportLocalJournalism.org/PaloAlto, returning the form being mailed to residents next week, or by calling the office at 650-326-8210. Annual payments are also welcomed.
Subscribing members will be sent a Support Local Journalism bumper sticker and a choice of a coffee mug, T-shirt or shopping bag, plus receive special offers and invitations to member events.
"Recent surveys show that our print and online readership is greater than ever," Johnson said. "But rather than requiring a newspaper subscription fee or restricting our website to subscribers, we are hoping that Palo Alto residents will step up and do their part to fund the quality local journalism that we create day in and day out," he said.