- Last Updated on Thursday, 30 July 2020 14:27
Keep Community News Alive.
Keep Printed Newspapers Sustainable.
PRINTED NEWSPAPERS ARE A VALUABLE COMMUNITY RESOURCE
|From Community News to Printed Papers|
Dear Messenger readers and supporters of community news,
From our beginning in 2004, the mission of the South Hills – Mon Valley Messenger has always been to create a more informed and engaged public by providing readers with community news, announcements, events and local information. We want to be the voice of the people, and to shine a spotlight on the positive changes happening all around us. Over the past 16 years, the Messenger newspaper has delivered on this mission. Today, the Messenger prints and distributes over 20,000 copies reaching over 50,000 readers in 35 communities spanning 4 counties.
To publish a newspaper of this size and reach requires a lot of time and effort every month from a dedicated team of people who are committed to improving their communities. And frankly, it also requires a significant amount of money to make it all happen.
The Challenge Community Newspapers Face
The Messenger has historically been able to support our operations exclusively from the revenue generated by our paying advertisers. However, local advertising dollars have declined in recent years, and combined with the COVID-19 virus pinching the economy and increased costs of postage and paper, it has been increasingly difficult to keep our community newspaper sustainable.
Unlike many publications, the Messenger does not charge a price for a copy of our newspaper. We have always been a FREE community newspaper – and we will continue to be one. We want community news to be accessible to all….. FREE OF CHARGE. The free newspaper business model has served us well, and our readership has grown significantly over the years, and continues to be very strong. (As a matter of fact, free community newspaper circulation across the country now exceeds the circulation of all paid daily newspapers COMBINED!) Yet ironically, as our readership has grown and our reach has expanded – our advertising support has declined. (It should work the exact opposite way – but that’s a message we need to make sure advertisers understand.) Quite simply, the revenue we receive from advertising alone is no longer sufficient to support our operations. So, we are turning to our loyal readers and asking you to show your support for the role our newspaper plays in the community.
|Delivered Monthly to your Neighborhood|
Readers Are The Answer
Now more than ever, news organizations and publishers are increasingly leaning on reader generated revenue to help them survive. Broadcast stations like NPR and PBS have relied on memberships to support their programming for decades. Publications like the Guardian, the National Review, the Texas Tribune, the Pittsburgh City Paper and websites like BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post are now asking readers to support their journalism with financial contributions.
With the Coronavirus pandemic impacting our advertising revenue during an age that print media across the country have already been struggling, we believe that now is the right time to ask our readers to play a larger role in keeping our newspaper sustainable.
Our future journalism efforts and the community information we provide will rely heavily on our readers’ generosity. Our hope is that our readers recognize the importance in the work we do to keep our communities informed and will want us to continue publishing. From local events and happenings, school news, church news and youth sports to news about local people, fellow citizens, the local real estate transactions, obituaries and more. If you value the information and news that the South Hills – Mon Valley Messenger provides, please show your support and make a contribution to our efforts.
|Help Keep a Printed Copy of Community News Available by a "Monthly Messenger Membership"|
Different Ways to Contribute
We know that people still enjoy reading their local news in a PRINTED newspaper. Every month we receive feedback and comments from our readers about how they “love our community newspaper”, and they “read it from cover to cover.” Our delivery drivers are often spotted upon arrival and regularly hand out copies to readers who are eagerly waiting for their copy of the latest issue. I was once even told by a reader that she “didn’t want to cut out the coupons” because it would ruin her copy of the Messenger! (*Note to readers – PLEASE cut out the coupons and use them to support our advertisers. It’s OK.)
Become a ‘Messenger Member’
We believe that Messenger readers care deeply about their communities and that having a free community newspaper is a vital asset and important resource. So, we are launching a membership campaign – an exclusive opportunity for readers to support the newspaper they cherish by becoming a ‘Messenger Member’. Annual membership is only $12.00, or you can set up a recurring monthly payment for just $1 per month. All members will receive exclusive perks such as:
- An official ‘Messenger Member’ decal
- ‘Member Only’ contests or drawings for event tickets or gift certificates!
- Access to exclusive content on www.messengerpaper.com
- Member only e-mails and newsletters
- Participate in member only surveys and questionnaires to help us serve you better
Make a Contribution
If you are not interested in a membership but still want to help, contributions of any size from our readers help us to fulfill our mission to create a more informed public. Readers can visit our website and make a one-time contribution, an annual contribution, or a recurring monthly contribution. Every time a reader like you makes a contribution to the Messenger, no matter how big or small, it will help our continued operations and keep our newspaper viable.
If you would like to support our mission by making a contribution, please visit our website at www.messengerpaper.com and click on the “Support the Messenger” button.
If you do not have access to our website but would like to make a contribution to help fund our operations, you can mail a check or money order made payable to the South Hills – Mon Valley Messenger, and include the words “reader contribution” in the memo line, and mail it to:
South Hills – Mon Valley Messenger
P.O. Box 13363
Pittsburgh PA., 15243
If you enjoy reading the Messenger and want to see it continue, and grow to serve you even better, please consider becoming a ‘Messenger Member’ or making a contribution of any size to our efforts. Times have changed in the newspaper business, and we can no longer do it without you.
Douglas E. Haniford