From Mark J. Valentino, Editor and Publisher
Last month, Gazette Chicago launched its first-ever Go Fund Me effort. As this edition of the newspaper went to press, we raised $7,700 on our goal of $10,000. This figure is a combination of funding from those who have given through the Go Fund Me platform and others who have sent contributions directly to our office.
We are extremely grateful to those readers, business-owners, friends and neighbors, and family members who have given so generously to date. To all of you, we say thank you!
If you missed the February 7 issue of Gazette Chicago, and would like to read my full message as to why we launched the Go Fund Me effort, please go to our website at: www.gazettechicago.com. There, you also will find a link to our Go Fund Me campaign.
That message gave you a glimpse of our history; the fact that Gazette Chicago has established itself as the newspaper of record in our ten communities over its 37-year history; and the sacrifices of our journalists to do an award-winning job of bringing you news each month that makes a difference in your lives and that of your neighbors.
If you question our commitment to service, or why we need your help at this time; please flip through the pages of this issue. Ninety percent of what you will read is devoted to our local and national elections. Gazette Chicago always has taken the election process seriously—it is the backbone of our democracy.
Each story that you read offers you information on candidates in the majority of the races you will be asked to vote for on Tuesday, March 17.
This has been a six-week process of interviewing candidates, gathering their photos, and sitting down as an editorial team to determine our endorsements.
You won’t find another community newspaper offering this depth and detail. Why? Because no one else puts in the hard work and invests in the resources that we do.
As I said in February, we don’t expect you to agree with everything we write on our Editorial and Endorsement pages—and we can ascertain that will certainly be the case this issue. Yet, each month we are out there advocating on your behalf, serving as your voice with elected officials, educators and church leaders, developers, and others who want to impact the quality of your lives.
So, I write again asking for your help.
We believe that Gazette Chicago is read by 40,000 people each month. We deliver 15,000 copies free of charge in our ten communities, and estimate that two people in a household read the paper. We also receive another 10,000 monthly visits to our website—which is also free to the public.
In addition, a growing number of readers have opted to receive Gazette Chicago free of charge in their in-box each first Friday of the month by signing up for our E-Edition. You can do that today by going to eedition.gazettechicago.com.
Can you pitch in $11 towards our Go Fund Me effort?
When we decided to try to raise $10,000, we purposely wanted to set a modest goal. In fact, we talked about this for 14 months before finally launching the campaign.
Will $10,000 be enough to keep us going far into the future?
That is hard to say—we remain hopeful that our advertising base will grow and sustain us. The dollars from Go Fund Me are meant for, and will be used to, increase the pay of our hard-working journalists and offer them some development opportunities.
We publish 11 issues annually, taking the month of January off so our staff doesn’t have to work the week of Christmas.
Can you see enough value in Gazette Chicago to go to our Go Fund Me site and make a contribution of $11? That’s just $1 for every issue we will publish in 2020.
Just imagine if 5,000 of our 40,000 readers give $11 each? The numbers would add up very quickly, exceed our original goal, and provide us with sustainable resources.
So, will you partner with us? Your support will make a difference!
The staff and I remain very gratefully yours.