COVID-19 may be a global pandemic, but it’s highlighting the importance of community news outlets like ours. Readers are seeking accurate and thorough reporting that comes to them without fear-mongering or sensationalizing. Now, more than ever, they are turning to local media sources to keep them informed.
The U.S. newspaper industry was already in a precarious spot, but the COVID-19 crisis has put additional pressure on it. Throughout the country, newsrooms have been hit hard by shrinking advertising revenue. Many have been forced to temporarily or permanently lay off staff, suspend publications and, in some cases, shut down entirely.
Fortunately, that is not the case at Press Publications. We are thankful for our dedicated readership, most of whom likely did not need a global health crisis to realize that strong local journalism is crucial to a strong community. But the present reality has underscored such importance for our team all the same. We remain hard at work with plenty to do, but we need your help to stay afloat.
Twice a year, Press Publications holds a subscription drive in which we ask readers to make a voluntary paid subscription to our paper. This may prompt an obvious question: Why pay for something I could get for free? Simply put, because it makes a difference.
Our spring subscription drive was planned well before COVID-19 made its way to Minnesota, but looking back now, it couldn’t have come at a more crucial time. In most of the areas that our papers cover, we are the sole media outlet. “News deserts,” or communities that lack a local newspaper, are becoming increasingly common throughout the country, and, among other things, COVID-19 is exacerbating the problem. As newsrooms fold under the stress of this pandemic, who knows what stories will go uncovered and untold? Paid subscriptions ensure that we do not have to find out the answer to that question here.
By subscribing, you support the team that makes each issue of our newspapers possible. From our reporters and editors, to our graphic designers, to our advertising representatives, to our carriers, our staff works hard to find and deliver information that keeps communities connected— to local government, to schools, to businesses and to each other. In unprecedented times like this, such connections matter all the more, and paid subscriptions help make them possible.
Your support means the world to us. It helps keep our local news business healthy and thriving. It ensures that stories that matter get told, and that area businesses can get the word out about their products and services. Communities benefit from having healthy, thriving newspapers, and we benefit from the community’s support—it allows us to continue the work we love and believe in, and it keeps our papers accessible to anyone who wants them.
So, during this spring subscription drive, please consider becoming a paid subscriber. It will help us continue to make our newspapers the thorough and engaging sources of information that our communities deserve. And thank you for being a reader. It’s a cliché, but it’s true in our case all the same: we really couldn’t do this without you.
Elizabeth Callen is the editor of the Shoreview Press. She can be reached at 651-407-1229 or email@example.com.