Thanks for support; we depend on it
2020. It smacked hard the community, the state, our nation and the entire world. So far, 2021 has been just as concerning, crazy and scary.
Through it all, our newspaper has worked very hard, under difficult financial limitations, to continue to consistently bring you important local news in an unbroken manner.
But it has been difficult. When the COVID crisis hit, our company revenues were cut in half. As has been well chronicled, the newspaper business was facing difficult economic times even before the pandemic. When the pandemic struck like an earthquake last March, it prompted immediate, major, difficult transitions in our company and within our individual papers.
Nearly overnight, we had to lay-off office staff and reporters plus substantially reduce the hours of all employees that remained. Here at the Central Oregonian, we had to cut back the paper from twice weekly to once a week. With the staff cuts and hours rollback, we simply no longer had the staff to produce two papers a week.
But through all the changes, we also discovered something else: our readers and supporters had our back. This past year, you, our readers, have been very patient with us and supportive as we've dealt with the significant financial impacts that COVID-19 wreaked not only on our company but on all businesses, our advertising customer base.Why many were disappointed that we had to revert to once-a-week production, by far the primary reaction among the readership was understanding.
As for readership support, our per edition distribution has remained steady, and of that we are very much appreciative. Of course, the major, important news that seemed to flow continuously in 2020 helped power our consistency. Meanwhile, visits to our website continue to climb, and our work is shared via social media at an ever-growing rate. We take pride in knowing that, in these uncertain, difficult times, our work has impact and importance.
Sure, we are not perfect. We can only wish we were completely free of typographic errors, but significant content mistakes in our reporting are rare, and major mistakes in content very rare. In this era of fake news and social media disinformation, we take pride in, and responsibility for, being THE source of local news that can be trusted.
Even with our news teams working just three, maybe four days a week, we are still your best source of local news by far. Every other media is also dealing with their own limitations. Other local print publications have raised prices and cut distribution. Cable companies are charging hundreds of dollars for their streaming services, and public radio stations are running quarterly fundraising campaigns. They're all trying to figure out how to survive with less advertising revenue.
We know the success of our newspapers depends on our ability to deliver local news you can't find anywhere else.
The truth is we want to deliver more local news, but we must have the financial support to justify it. We want to continue to do a top-quality job in providing our readers news of our community, with stories on their neighbors, honoring our local heroes and preserving our history. We also want to construct special sections and magazines that showcase and celebrate our community.
That's where you come in.
Our hope is, if we deliver a quality local news product — a news product you can't get anywhere else — that you'll pay a reasonable price to support our work.
Most importantly, growing our subscriber base can give us a consistent source of revenue that we can then reinvest in our news staff to generate more local stories about your community. As for loyal subscribers/readers, we know you understand the value and importance of local news.
Today, we have a special offer for you — our Pamplin All-Access Pass. For $99 a year, you'll receive a one-year subscription to your local newspaper. As a bonus, we'll also give you a one-year subscription to the Portland Tribune (a $49 value) to stay up on Portland-metro and state government news.
Like it or not, what happens in Portland affects all of us. The Tribune will keep you informed about Oregon's largest city. The Tribune also provides weekly coverage of local events, thoughtful analysis on its opinion pages, as well as sports coverage about the Blazers, Timbers, Ducks, Beavers and more. And if you love puzzles, every week the Tribune runs two full pages of puzzles sure to keep you busy during these rainy Oregon winters.
Finally, the Pamplin All-Access Pass also provides you with unlimited digital access to every story written each week by the reporters of the Pamplin Media Group's Oregon community newspapers (more than 4,500 stories per month).
This week's paper, and its essentially empty front page, is done to nudge readers to think about value. If you love and value local news, this is the deal for you. Most significantly, your support will continue to fund our journalists and their efforts to provide important local news to inform and engage our communities.
To take advantage of this great offer, fill out the form on the back page of this newspaper or go online to www.savinglocalnews.com.
Again, we thank you, our readers, for your continued support. We'll continue to endeavor to earn it every week.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.