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Opinion: A Big Thanks And A Little Housekeeping

We, at The Graphic, want to extend a heartfelt, “Thank you,” to everyone who has shown us support and given us feedback this past week. The donations, subscriptions, new advertisers, calls, comments and offers of help have been overwhelming, humbling, and have helped us along toward our goal for this month.

It would be an understatement to say it has been a mentally and emotionally tiring eight days since we printed the blank front page last week. To be so transparent about the situation in which we find ourselves was a risk we were hesitant to take, and which left us feeling uncomfortable, awkward and vulnerable.  Yet, we felt it was an important and necessary action to take since we see ourselves as stewards of this institution which is so vital to the health of Johnson County, and we want to preserve it for coming generations. Despite our fatigue, your response has given us renewed hope and encouragement that it might just be possible to keep things going.

While we can’t address every social media comment individually, we appreciate the feedback (both the positive and not so positive) and have taken them all into consideration. Please keep them coming! We really want to know what you think, and we want the paper to be relevant to our readers.

Some of the feedback we received made us realize we need to do a better job explaining some of our policies and the reasoning behind editorial decisions we make. We plan to do just that in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, please spread the word that we need advertisers, subscribers, and additional locations to place paper racks so we can continue to serve the community.  Recently I heard a former news publisher say that we don’t produce the paper because we need to make money, we need to make money so we can produce the paper. I wholeheartedly agree. We aren’t trying to profit from the news. We simply need enough revenue to be able to continue to publish it.

And for those who have commented that it isn’t very big, we understand your concern and it might be helpful to consider the factors that affect the paper size. As you might imagine, we can only print as many pages as we can afford to pay for, so increasing the price per copy, adding new and regular advertising partners, subscribers, and news submissions from the community will all help us grow the size of the paper. Also, we used to have more inserts and coupons, but many of those retailers have gone to digital-only formats, which has reduced the thickness of the paper to the size which many of you have become accustomed. During the past eight months, however, we’ve gone from eight pages to a consistent 12 pages and would love to print more each week if our budget permits. We were happy to be able to print 16 pages this week! Thanks for partnering with us thus far. Please continue your support, as well as your encouraging comments and constructive criticisms, and let’s rebuild The Graphic together!

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Just a quick housekeeping note:  If you are a current or new subscriber, thank you! We want to give you what you pay for, and we are setting aside funds to allow us to prorate customers for any unused portion of an annual subscription in the event of our closing before your subscription expires. So please don’t let the possibility of us not being open keep you from becoming a subscriber.

As the Welsh politician and former Vice-President of the European Commission, Neil Kinnock, said, “Newspapers are tutors as well as informers.” You just might be surprised at how much you’ll learn about what’s going on around the county by reading the paper each week.

We have annual print and digital options and have also added the option of a 24-hour digital pass on our subscription page. You can find it all on the “Subscribe” tab of our website, www.thegraphic.org.

This editorial appears in the Feb. 7 issue of The Graphic.

 

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