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Local newspaper turns to readers for funding

Posted by David Zimmerman  March 28, 2013 07:55 PM

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Bay Windows, a weekly newspaper serving the area’s lgbt community, has launched a new, non-traditional, model for increasing its revenue. The 30 year old weekly is turning to its readers.

In an article in this week’s edition a letter written by co-publishers Sue O’Connell and Jeff Coakley points out that “the dynamic of how newspapers make money has changed. While community newspapers like ours fight for ad dollars, readers demand more from our publication. Bay Windows is exploring additional revenue models to meet this demand.”

The letter goes on to state, “We (Bay Windows) request your financial support. We believe a viable model to bring the revenue needed to improve Bay Windows is a mix of advertising revenue and voluntary financial contributions from you, our readers.”

Bay Windows is distributed every Thursday and is free of charge. It has been a pillar in the lgbt community since 1983 and received national attention in the recent Presidential election for its coverage on Mitt Romney when Mr. Romney served as the Governor of Massachusetts.

According to the donation page supporters can donate anywhere from $25 - $1,000.

Read the full letter below:

Bay Windows has been proud to serve the New England LGBT community since 1983. Bay Windows has always been a free publication, and our online website has always been free.

For the past thirty years, our newspaper and website have been advertiser supported. How much news we can cover, how many pages we can print or post, how many papers and how many locations we can deliver, has been determined by the revenue from the advertisements that appeared in our publications.

The dynamic of how newspapers make money has changed. While community newspapers like ours fight for ad dollars, readers demand more from our publication. Bay Windows is exploring additional revenue models to meet this demand.

Some publications, including The New York Times and The Boston Globe are moving to a reader-funded models for their online content. Jeff and I never want to put any of our content behind a paywall—there should be as few barriers as possible between those in need and the information about our LGBT community.

We request your financial support. We believe a viable model to bring the revenue needed to improve Bay Windows is a mix of advertising revenue and voluntary financial contributions from you, our readers.

Bay Windows turns 31 this year. Will you pledge your support for the upcoming year by contributing funds? Your contribution will help us keep the website and paper free and improve our coverage.

Please, if you are able, we welcome your support and ask you to spread the word.
Please note - your contribution is not tax deductible.


This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author: Boston Spirit Magazine’s daily blog brings you all of the information you need on New England’s LGBT community. In addition to highlighting local and national LGBT news, we will also highlight local leaders from the worlds of business, politics, fashion and entertainment and keep you up-to-date on all the latest events and parties, hot spots for travel, shopping, dining, and more!
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