Your local news team needs your help
The entire world changed in a month.
Cataclysmic changes have temporarily (we hope) re-shaped everything in our lives.
They have re-shaped the Bristol Phoenix, too, and we face an ironic crisis.
Interest in our news products is soaring. Every day we’re fielding calls for new subscriptions, and readership on our website has doubled — even quadrupled on the busiest of days. We are seeing more demand for our news coverage than ever before.
Yet while they help, subscriptions and online clicks do not sustain our business. Advertising dollars do, and our advertising customers are hurting. The advertising messages we publish for restaurants, salons, spas, venues, retail stores, contractors and the hundreds of businesses that give our small community its character are critical to our business. Since the start of this crisis, those advertising customers have had to eliminate or severely restrict their marketing efforts.
As a result, we are struggling, and we are asking for help. The Bristol Phoenix and our parent company, East Bay Media Group, are welcoming donations to support local news efforts. Our campaign — $25K for 2 — sets out to raise $25,000, so we can reverse painful cuts to our newsroom and restore our news team to full strength for two months.
Though we are not operating at full capacity, in the past month we have brought you stories about small manufacturers leaping into the mask production business, drive-by birthday parties for children isolated at home, volunteers donating food and meal deliveries, expert advice on social distancing and mental health, as well as daily coverage of the governor’s must-watch coronavirus briefings.
We have opened coronavirus-related stories on our website to all readers, as we consider access to this vital information a public service. And we have published a free online database of businesses that are open, including scores of restaurants that are promoting their takeout food options as a way to survive. We’re trying to do what we can to help this community get through this crisis.
Now we are asking for help. If you feel local news is essential — especially during this pandemic — and if you are in a position to help, you can make a tax-deductible donation through our partnership with the Local Media Foundation. The 501(c)(3) foundation supports news efforts throughout the country, and is helping coordinate similar campaigns with hundreds of newspapers across the United States.
We are also thrilled to report that we have a matching donor, The Roswell S. Bosworth Fund, which operates under the umbrella of The Rhode Island Foundation and is offering to match all donations, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000.
Donations can be made online through the Local Media Foundation at the following address:
Thank you for your support of local news. With your help, we will continue to reflect the best of this community during the most trying of times.