The Palo Alto Weekly today asked readers to pay $5 a month to support the cost of operating its print and online editions. The Weekly, founded in 1979, operates in a competitive city with two daily newspapers. “As more residents turn online to stay informed about the community, and businesses rocked by the recession suspend their advertising or turn to inexpensive marketing alternatives, the traditional business model that allowed local journalism to be almost solely supported through advertising is quickly evaporating,” said Weekly Publisher Bill Johnson.

Bay Area Media News

3 Comments

  1. A profit-making company asking for donations? Are they kidding? The donor doesn't even get a tax deduction. If the Weekly wants money in this way, they should convert to a not-for-profit, and open their books to donors, like other charities asking for money.

  2. Huh? You'd rather have newspapers depend 100% on advertisers for their revenue? That's a better system than having readers pay for subscriptions? Sorry, you lost me. What the Weekly is doing makes total sense; more free papers should do the same thing.

  3. This is pretty sad to see the once powerful Weekly begging for money, like a homeless guy with his hand out. One problem with this new "business model" is that the paper's staff will avoid upsetting donors. Pressure groups will figure that out, and they will withhold their donations to influence news coverage.

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