Over four years ago, The Independent of Petrolia and Central Lambton arrived in your mailbox for the first time. Each week we try to provide an accurate reflection of life in our region. You welcomed us warmly and we thank you.
We were often asked ‘When are we going to have to pay for The Independent.’ I told many people our goal was to continue as a free paper. We hoped never to charge for our paper. But today, hope must face reality. The reality is The Independent cannot continue on the way it is if it is to remain economically viable.
For four years, advertising dollars have been the sole support of The Independent. We worked hard; we weren’t getting rich, but in the beginning we could pay the bills. The reality is the bills are getting bigger.
Just to print and mail The Independent to our 8,200 readers for one week costs about $3,000. That’s before anyone is paid, that is before we rent an office, power up the computers or put fuel in the car to go cover events. And that is before coming increases in news print as the US flexes its protectionist muscles.
So, with optimism for the future, we announce beginning January 3, 2018, The Independent will become a paid publication.
Starting this week, we’ll be selling a one-year subscription to The Independent for the special introductory rate of $50, taxes included. After January 1, the rate will be $55. The paper will be delivered right to your mailbox as usual. If you only want the newspaper occasionally, it will be available in selected stores throughout the region for $1.50 per week. We will also have an electronic version available for a reduced cost and a Snowbird Package for those who wish to have print while they are in Ontario and an electronic version while they travel. Details of those packages will be coming next week.
As a paid publication, we will gain much needed financial support. It also allows us to tap into other programs not available to free newspapers. In 2018, The Independent will be able to access existing federal grants for paid publications to offset our mailing costs, which are about $50,000 per year.
We are optimist about the future. We know local news is important to you. We know we have become a trusted source for that information.
We believe if you partner with us, not only will The Independent continue to provide the community information and news you have come to expect, we’ll be able to grow – hiring much needed new employees – to provide better coverage to our readers and better service to our customers.
We hope you will become our partner as we continue to serve this community.
The Independent of Petrolia and Central Lambton