This local newspaper got its start more than 125 years ago as White Bear Life, informing residents and tourists in the area about important happenings. Today, residents have countless social media apps like Nextdoor, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that also provide information. Some of the content imparted by these apps is local and newsworthy; much of it contributes to the spread of gossip, rumors and even hate speech. Local information is a great thing when it is truthful and can help residents make decisions. The problem with social media is the uncontrolled, unregulated and unguided posts. On a regular basis, apps take down posts or edit data unannounced. What we hear most often from readers is they appreciate local coverage, and know we follow journalistic guidelines. Our feature stories and the consistent reporting of city council, school board and other local meetings is information that you don’t get from any other media platform. Long time readers love the paper. Some residents are still trying to wrap their heads around a free community newspaper.   

Our family-owned group of local newspapers focuses on community happenings, schools and local government. As a resident, you don’t have the time to attend all of the local meetings that affect you, from watershed district, city council, planning commission, county board to school board meetings. You can trust our reporters to fill that role, and that’s why the newspaper is valued. Our journalists often are the only other person in these meetings‚—other than the elected officials—who are there taking notes. Their reporting on the proceedings is trustworthy.  

You won’t see black-suited Google folks or Facebook staffers at any of your local meetings. As recent lawsuits against these media giants suggest, they have been stealing content from local newspapers and media companies for years. They sell ads next to our content and we get nothing for our unique, copyrighted stories and photos.    

We help you navigate the endless supply of junk information and distinguish the real news that matters to you. We reflect your community every other week in the pages of the paper in print and online. We provide up-to-date, organic content that no one else does.   

We are able to provide hyper-local news and information because of the support from our readers in the form of a subscription. Twice a year we ask readers to support your hometown newspaper with a subscription. Why subscribe to something that you already get for free? Simply put, if no one subscribes, we can’t provide the product. We are among a few newspapers nationally utilizing the hybrid of asking for voluntary subscription. Most “free” papers have had to move to subscriptions to stay alive. If you are an online news junkie, you know most news outlets require a payment after a couple of page views or to access the stories you really want to read.  

Your subscription helps offsets the rising costs of delivery, labor and health care, technology and sustainable newsprint. Perhaps most critically, subscriptions help us employ professional journalists who provide our readers a newspaper rich in relevant, local topics while recording history.   

We need your support through a subscription now more than ever. Like many local businesses, the pandemic has hit us hard. Currently about 21% of White Bear Press readers subscribe; our goal to be sustainable is 30%. If you have read or learned something that was beneficial to your family or life in our community newspaper, I would like to ask you to subscribe today by calling our office, filling out the envelope or flyer that is in our newspapers or subscribe online at presspubs.com. You will receive a coupon sheet for great deals at local businesses and will be entered into a drawing for $250.   

Thank you to our supporters who have been with us through the ups and downs. Thank you to our subscribers who help us stay grounded in your neighborhood and rooted in your community.  

 

— Carter Johnson is publisher of Press Publications.

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