Precinct Reporter May Not Be Here Much Longer
The Precinct Reporter recently observed 54 years of continuous publication. It is quite a milestone for a newspaper dedicated to telling the story of the Black community and keeping it informed about available resources and issues of the day.
However, the Precinct Reporter may not exist much longer! The media landscape has changed dramatically, actually traumatically, for newspapers. Facebook and Google now have more ad revenue than the entire global print and radio industry combined. Two companies that share information we create monetizes our work.
Stater Bros. Markets has advertised with us for many years to reach our readers to invite them into their stores as customers, employees, and vendors. They have been our largest advertising partner. Now their advertising choices may exclude the Precinct Reporter.
Times are really changing regarding media sources and marketing choices. We get that! But we can’t maintain our journalistic integrity, professionalism, and leadership without a major client like Stater Bros. Markets. We don’t just print press releases. We create original work that tells the story from the perspective most relatable and impactive for our readers. We don’t just print about potholes and street re-striping. We print stories that advocate for our readers and the issues they care about because historically they have been disenfranchised and ignored.
We offer both a print and online presence (www.precinctreporter.com) to disseminate the news, but online resources do not pay for the content. The newspaper print revenue supports the online presence.
Newspapers are disappearing throughout the country. Detroit doesn’t even have a daily newspaper anymore, and Pittsburgh’s primary daily is now published only three times a week. The information landscape is now littered with news deserts because trusted news sources are no longer available. When trusted news sources are lost, our way of life is at risk. And once lost, they probably will not be replaced.
If the Precinct Reporter closes its doors, what trusted news sources are available to note the increase in hate crimes and white supremacist activity? Will timely trusted sources ensure that the Black community and other disenfranchised groups are engaged as the revitalization of the inland empire takes place?
The Precinct Reporter has advocated for the community for 54 years. Borne out of the civil unrest of the 1960’s, the Precinct Reporter has kept the community informed of resources to improve physical and mental health outcomes, education and training, and access to the arts, science and technology. If the doors close, the impact will be felt deeply.
Always having the Precinct Reporter around has been taken for granted. Now we need the community to decide if the Precinct Reporter is worth saving. Local businesses and service providers can’t continue to look to us just for free stories. We can’t continue to write stories about events for free while the organizers spend their outreach dollars elsewhere.
For 54 years, many have reached for the Precinct Reporter each week. Now the Precinct Reporter needs to reach back to you to continue our advocacy.