According to Washington Post reporter Margaret Sullivan, “Journalism remains in a state of emergency. Increasingly under the control of corporate chains backed by private-equity firms, far too many American newsrooms are hemorrhaging staff.” Sullivan reports, “Fifty-five news outlets have closed for good since the pandemic began—and that’s on top of more than 2,000 newspapers that have folded since 2004. Thousands of local journalists have been fired or furloughed.” (“There are flickers of hope for local journalism. So far, it’s not nearly enough,” Dec. 20, 2020.)
Meanwhile, despite the debilitating pandemic and disheartening lockdowns, Stockbridge Community News bucked the nationwide trend and continued to grow. In November 2020, our website and Facebook pages hosted almost 2,200 daily views, up 20% from a year ago, November 2019.
How is SCN managing to succeed against all odds? One answer rings clear: Local support. Readers trust and rely on us. Sponsors and advertisers generously extend financial support. Volunteers step forward and lend helping hands. The statistics speak loudly: More than 35 volunteers work hard to bring SCN’s news and information service to the community. Our nonprofit organization received, and much appreciated, the support of 35 to 40 advertisers per month. Plus, 28 different donors contributed $3,953 in 2020.
Thank goodness, because expenses to publish and mail each monthly newspaper at no cost to an estimated 21,000 local residents in the nearly 9,000 households of our 125-square-mile school district are no small potatoes. SCN’s costs run around $5,700 per month.
As we head, hopefully, into a healthier and happier 2021, SCN’s board of directors wishes to extend a hearty THANK YOU to all in the community. Without your support, there could be no quality, dependable news and information service whose mission is to help nurture our vigorous and healthy local community.
President Patrice Johnson, Vice President Joan Tucker, Treasurer Judy Williams, Secretary Bev Glynn, Mary Jo David, Amy Haggerty, Hope Salyer, Terry Sommer, and Nancy Wisman