|Dr. Teri Finneman|
Publishers might be surprised to hear that 40 percent of small-town newspaper readers in a Great Plains survey by Finneman and her research partners (Pat Ferrucci of the University of Colorado and Nick Mathews of the University of Minnesota) said they would be very likely or likely to donate, in addition to subscription costs, to support their local paper.
The model developed by Finneman, Ferrucci and Mathews includes memberships in which readers can get different levels of benefits. "The model will also work to engage community members, especially young residents, and focus on preferred reader content," the news release says.
The model will be tested at Joey Young's Kansas Publishing Ventures, which has Harvey County Now in Newton and the Hillsboro Free Press and will get $10,000 to participate in the experiment. “Just knowing Joey and the team there, there’s a lot of enthusiasm, there’s a passion for journalism and there’s a willingness to try, that isn’t there with many other places,” Finneman told Harvey County Now.
The newspaper's story said, "Harvey County Now hopes its participation in the project will present findings that can help other news organizations build strong and sustainable local newsrooms and enjoy some of the success the publication has had."