Through a letter to all residents and a print and online advertising campaign, the Voice aims to replace the recession-driven decline in print advertising with membership subscriptions from people who value local journalism, regardless of whether viewed in print or online.
"As more residents turn online to stay informed about the community, and businesses rocked by the recession suspend their advertising or turn to inexpensive marketing alternatives, the traditional business model that allowed local journalism to be primarily supported through advertising is quickly evaporating," said Voice publisher Tom Gibboney.
"These changes threaten the viability of quality local journalism everywhere, including in our community," Gibboney explains in an editorial on page 13 of today's paper.
Readers are being asked to sign up for a monthly payment program of at least $5 per month (17 cents a day) by going to www.SupportLocalJournalism.org/MountainView, returning the form they will receive in the mail next week, or by calling the office at 326-8210. Annual payments are also welcomed.
Subscribing members will be sent a Support Local Journalism bumper sticker and a choice of a coffee mug, t-shirt or shopping bag, plus receive special offers and invitations to member events.
"Recent surveys show that our print and online readership is greater than ever," Gibboney said. "But rather than requiring a newspaper subscription fee or restricting our website to subscribers, we are hoping that Mountain View residents will step up and do their part to fund the quality local journalism that we create day in and day out," he said.