How important is having a community newspaper to you as a resident, as an organization, or as a business?
It’s important if you value it, if you want to receive community news in your mailbox every month, if you want stories written about festivals, initiatives, and businesses. If you want a vehicle for communication to be there when you need it, consider contributing your money and your time.
Over the last decade, the world of print media has changed substantially. Few independent newspapers exist anymore. Most newspapers are owned and operated by large conglomerates. Increasing costs and decreasing advertising revenue have resulted in mergers and downsizing. With all the online options, many people prefer to source their news online and many businesses have turned to online marketing instead of print advertising.
As a non-profit society, we are able to do a casino fundraiser but this funding covers less than half of our expenses. Advertising and a sponsorship used to cover the balance, but this is no longer the case. In order for this newspaper to be financially viable, it must be less dependent on advertising.
Over the last two years, we’ve lost a number of our regular larger advertisers; some festivals and events no longer exist, others don’t advertise, the City of Edmonton advertises less, and local businesses do not advertise much.
We do what a community newspaper should do and cover the news, festivals, events, businesses, community organizations, programming, residents, and issues facing our neighbourhoods. But it seems like the more we cover, the less organizations and businesses feel the need to advertise.
Community newspapers are a chronicle and archive of a community’s journey. They are a valuable and important resource. For this newspaper to continue to be a great community asset, it must be financially sustainable. We are asking residents, businesses, and organizations to show you value having a community newspaper by contributing money and/or time. Many people contributing small amounts of money can have a significant impact on our bottom line, which is currently in the red.
Rat Creek Press has been serving the seven communities of Alberta Avenue, Delton, Eastwood, Elmwood Park, Parkdale-Cromdale, Spruce Avenue, and Westwood as an independent, non-profit newspaper since 2005. I hope it can continue to serve all the residents of these communities for years to come.
Some of the ways you can support your community newspaper:
BECOME A MEMBER
An easy way to support us is to become a RCP member. It’s only $10 a year. The Rat Creek Press is delivered to almost 12,000 households. If only a small fraction became members, it would make a significant financial impact. You will get an advance pdf copy of the monthly issue via email. We will invite you to give editorial and design input. Complete our membership form at timecounts.org/rat-creek-press.
BECOME A FRIEND
Make a charitable donation to us through the Alberta Avenue Community League and we’ll give you perks such as a complimentary membership, a display sign, acknowledgement in our paper and on our website, an appreciation supper, social media posts, advertising discounts, and online ads. Find at more at ratcreek.org/friends-of-rcp. Thank you to Alberta Avenue Business Association for their $2,000 sponsorship, Norwood Dental Centre for being a Supporter, and Overall Cleaning and Wesley Andreas for becoming Patrons. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BECOME AN RCP AMBASSADOR
Help us connect with your neighbourhood. Be our eyes and ears and keep us informed of what’s happening. Bring information about the paper to your neighbourhood and let residents know about our membership and Friends of RCP program. Apply: timecounts.org/rat-creek-press.
BECOME A BOARD OR COMMITTEE MEMBER
The board will start recruiting for new members in the fall and our AGM is in November. We are in need of a vice-chair, secretary, fundraising coordinator, social media coordinator as well as community relations and editorial committee members. Interested? Email email@example.com.
INTERACT WITH US ONLINE
Comment and share our stories at ratcreek.org. Like our Facebook page. Tag or send us your community pictures #RCPSnaps.
Check out the businesses, services, and events you see advertised in the paper. Let them know you saw their ad.
REFER AN ADVERTISER TO RCP
Spread the word about this well-loved and read community newspaper and our advertising opportunities. Direct people to ratcreek.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.