This month we bring you stories of the past and questions about our future. This month we also ask for your support.
Button up a warm sweater, pour another cup of hot tea or coffee and read on…
Not all that long ago the Key Peninsula was very different from today. The land was forested with old growth giants towering above an understory thick with big leaf maples, madrona, dogwood and vine maple. The forest floor was covered in native huckleberries, salal, mosses and ferns. Sparkling pristine waters were filled with salmon so thick a person could reach in the water and catch one by hand as little as 100 years ago. Shellfish covered unspoiled shorelines, geoduck reigned the world beneath the sand. Native peoples spoke their stories; early pioneers wrote letters and postcards. Newspapers were our primary source of information.
Times have changed, but it’s been an especially rough time for newspapers.
Once-strong daily newspapers in big cities and small towns across our nation are closing. Today the money’s online.
When advertising revenues plummeted, publishers had to pare down. When community papers presented competition for vital advertising dollars and readers, conglomerates bought them out, consolidated staff and pressed on.
Corporate cost-cutting methods and deep layoffs diminished the depth of local news coverage. Not surprisingly, operating with fewer reporters and leaner staffs quickly spins into a death spiral until one morning you wake up and learn your local newspaper doesn’t live here anymore.
Things are different out here on the peninsula, thanks to you.
I’m happy to tell you that Key Peninsula News is alive and well. We regularly publish stories and histories of people that might otherwise be forgotten because we know that individual threads make up the whole cloth woven together; that’s community. Sharing your stories brings us closer; from the strength of those bonds we are a stronger community.
We’re fired by the deep belief that local journalism is essential to the functioning of our democracy. We believe in the power of civic engagement. Whether it’s taking complicated issues and breaking them down into understandable pieces, celebrating achievement or trying to cope with tragedy. We love to tell others about the work you do, the things you build, the art you make, the way you play and the joy you share as a giver and as a receiver.
How do we do it?
The greatest portion of our earned income comes from advertising. We are extremely grateful for the businesses and organizations that help support the KP News with their advertising dollars. We take pride in providing a platform to get their message out to everyone who lives here, not just those who can afford it. But advertising dollars alone are not enough to meet the hard costs of publishing a monthly newspaper.
We could not survive without the dedicated talents and hundreds of donated hours from our volunteer staff writers, photographers, columnists, copy editors, proofreaders, distribution team and our publishing board. Neither could we survive without skilled professionals who manage sales, digital social media and print production. We operate under the umbrella of the Key Peninsula Civic Center Association, but maintain complete editorial and financial independence.
Our rewards come from the grocery checker who tells us she and her husband compete over who gets to read the latest edition first. It comes when you see us around town and say, “Wow, I had no idea, until I read it in the KP News.” It comes from the cards, letters and emails you send us in appreciation for what we do. Where else in the world do people travel with the latest copy of their hometown paper stashed in a suitcase for a photo opportunity?
We believe you matter. And we know you believe the KP News matters too.
This month is our annual appeal, when we ask you to step up to ensure the continued success of the KP News.
Our goal is $16,000 contributions from readers. You don’t need to be wealthy, most contributions are under $40, so please feel good giving whatever you can afford. No matter the amount, we ask you to help us power the newspaper that unites our community of diverse and spirited people who live in this extraordinary place.
Your voice does make a difference, and thank you for allowing us to continue to be The Voice of Key Peninsula.
UNDERWRITTEN BY NEWSMATCH/MIAMI FOUNDATION, THE ANGEL GUILD, ROTARY CLUB OF GIG HARBOR, ADVERTISERS, DONORS AND PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT LOCAL, INDEPENDENT NONPROFIT NEWS