Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Small New England daily raises $155,000 for its covid-19 support fund, after initial $50,000 goal was met in 5 days

Valley News logo
The Valley News of West Lebanon, N.H., and White River Junction, Vt., reports tremendous success in its efforts to seek donations to subsidize the small daily paper during the pandemic: "The response to our Valley News Covid-19 Support Fund has been overwhelming. We hit our initial goal of raising $50,000 to support our operations, which have been drastically undermined by the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, in less than five days. Almost 600 people donated."

The final total was $150,000, from about 1,500 donors, News Editor John Gregg said on "Success Stories in Rural Journalism," a July 30 webinar of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, which publishes The Rural Blog. "We were pretty astounded," he said. The latest total, as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, was $135,234, with 1,363 donors. The effort "was boosted by an outfit called Vital Communities of the Upper Valley, a non-profit that promotes local agriculture, conducts transportation studies and the like" in the Upper Connecticut River Valley, former New Hampshire agriculture commissioner Steve Taylor tells The Rural Blog.

The paper's plea began, "The Valley News is asking for financial support from the Upper Valley community to continue producing trusted local journalism during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has wreaked an unprecedented economic crisis that threatens our ability to serve our readers and region. Our business depends on revenue from advertisers, but the coronavirus crisis has brought the local economy — and many of the advertisers who support our work — to a near standstill. We have rigorously reported on the local impacts of this worldwide pandemic in words and photos and made all of our local coronavirus coverage free online since early March."

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