Visitors to The Lincoln County News’ website on Tuesday, Nov. 29 may have noticed an addition to its homepage. Quietly launched on what is known as Giving Tuesday, a donate button gives readers the opportunity to support the newspaper’s efforts with a direct contribution.
It’s an understatement to say the news industry has faced many challenges in recent years. For the LCN, these challenges are compounded by rising costs of newsprint, labor, and postage, all essentials to keeping the newspaper locally owned, printed, and published.
Two of the traditional avenues for newspapers to generate income are subscriptions and advertising revenue. Ultimately, however, both sources contain a common challenge. Raise the cost of either too much, and you’re guaranteed to lose readers and advertisers. We’re all feeling the impacts of inflation and pinching our pennies where we can. Especially in this age of social media scandal mongering, access to local journalism is critical, and we want to make sure it is affordable to people in the community.
When the price of the newspaper increased last year, it was with the recognition that many readers are on fixed incomes and the extra cost could be difficult to handle. In order to make sure everyone could continue to have affordable access to the newspaper, we changed subscription rates to be recommended amounts as opposed to set prices.
From what we’ve heard, the pay-what-you-can model has been received well in the community. We have a mix of readers who pay at the former rates, and we also have a strong contingent who contribute more to ensure the model is sustainable.
We’ve also heard from our the group of newsstand loyalists, who buy the paper at their business of choice within an hour of it coming off the press, that they would like to support the newspaper as well. Well, now there’s an option for them as well.
So it’s time to try something a little different.
The donate button is live on lcnme.com with a minimum donation set at $5, which is nonrefundable. As the newspaper operates as a for-profit business, donations are not tax deductible. If you would like to make a donation by mail, send it to The Lincoln County News at P.O. Box 36, Damariscotta, ME 04543.
All funds raised will be put toward newspaper operations, specifically to paying local, competitive wages, ensuring the continuation of The Lincoln County News’ century-plus of local journalism.
We appreciate your support and look forward to continuing our coverage of this wonderful community.