Don’t let Highway 58 become a “news desert”, purchase a subscription!

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I still get the occasional email from readers who don’t understand why The Herald had to start charging for its content. It should be obvious, but I still feel compelled to explain.

Highway58Herald.org - News of the Upper Willamette (logo)If you’ve been around the Oakridge/Westfir area for more than a few years, you remember the Dead Mountain Echo. It cost $1 per. It was published once a week. No Lane County news and events, nothing for veterans, local events were rarely covered or advertised in advance, no art scene. The weekly police report took up a good portion of the paper. Ray’s publishes their own ads online now.

Once Google started to be on every phone, computer, and tablet, advertising dollars took a nosedive; never to return. Craigslist took away any classifieds and want ads. Advertisements, classifieds, and subscriptions/news stand sales were what kept the bills paid.

Those days are gone. They’ll never come back. Even the DME folded because of the cost of publishing.

Large, and I mean really large metropolitan papers, are in dire straits financially. They are either selling off to corporate vultures or folding all together. Most are surviving by clinging to online paid subscribers only. The Register Guard is a mere shadow of itself. The Medford Mail Tribune sold out, crashed, and, now on its third attempt, is online only. Several Eastern Oregon papers recently folded.

Where will you turn to find out what was decided in the most recent City Council meeting? How are your taxes being spent? Who voted for what? Who’s watching out for “backroom politics”? Not Facebook.

We now have two paid contract writers. That alone is a few thousand dollars a month. Yes, thousands. Then there’s all the other costs involved. We’re not merely a Facebook page. Office space, website manager, fees for programs, association fees to acquire relevant news, and many other go into producing what you see when you go onto The Herald’s site, YOUR site.

The Highway 58 Herald needs your subscriptions and donations to keep us working for you. At $5 a month (the cost of a cup of coffee at a drive-through), you’ll not just be getting honest, reliable, locally produced local news and information, you’ll help ensure that your community receives the same.

If you are already a subscriber, we thank you with all our heart. If you’re not currently a subscriber, please consider it. We are a nonprofit. Any donation sent to The Herald is fully tax deductible. Give generously. Let your sense of community be your guide. Thank you.

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