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CTNewsJunkie Turns 11: Because You Need It. Bad.

by | Jul 1, 2016 2:23pm
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Posted to: Analysis, Media Matters, Member Drive, Opinion

I really don’t want to jinx it. But after 11 years of publishing, CTNewsJunkie is almost fully sustainable without outside income to fill in the gaps.

Almost.

Thousands of news websites and blogs have come and gone since the arrival of the internet. Daily newspapers are disappearing at an alarming rate. Tens of thousands of career reporters, photographers, and editors are being let go or forced out.

But CTNewsJunkie is still here and we remain cautiously optimistic about our future despite a volatile marketplace.

The news industry is in terrible shape for a lot of reasons — the proliferation of advertising has driven down prices, and readers are moving away from print in favor of digital, etc.

Additionally, it’s painful to admit this but a real core problem is simply the fact that even in the boom years of newspapers, only a fraction of the cost of reporting the news was borne by the readers.

By and large, people have never actually paid full freight for news products. News, as an industry, has always been married to another funding source — advertising.

So for CTNewsJunkie to still be here after 11 years is very much an anomaly. We’re here because we haven’t wasted money, because we haven’t bought into the temptation to “scale” ourselves beyond sustainable.

We’re here because Christine Stuart is a driven individual who doesn’t hesitate to start working on a story at midnight despite having already worked a 15-hour day.

The bottom line for modern journalism is this — the demand for information is greater than ever before, but the steady revenue sources that paid for the work of gathering that information are in flux.

So a key factor that’s missing as a significant portion of our business in digital news is reader support. We still need advertising and we’re always working to develop the best digital media tools for that purpose. We also have support from newspapers that buy our news as a wire service — this has been a huge help.

But support from our readers is what’s missing as an equal or even comparable share to our advertising and newspaper partners.

Granted, it is counterproductive to put up a paywall on website — we’re not planning to do that. Conversely, it is similarly unrealistic to think that there’s no cost associated with visiting a free news website like CTNewsJunkie.

In this new reality, people need to choose which reporters and news organizations they want to support at the local, state, and national level, and just take the plunge and click the button to contribute. Build a new habit of supporting the journalists who provide the information that helps maintain our Democracy.

Recurring reader subscription plans give us some continuity beyond the peaks and valleys of the political advertising seasons.

And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that a core group of reader subscribers and key advertisers have been supporting us for several years — a few dozen wonderful friends and folks who see the value we have created. We have no idea where we would be without them at this point.

What this all means is pretty simple: we need more new subscribers and Capitol Gains Club members so that we can continue providing up-to-the-minute news coverage from the legislature. Coverage you can depend on.

CTNewsJunkie may be free to access, but it’s not free to produce professional news reporting. Be a mensch and join our team by becoming a subscriber or a club member, or consider adding your firm to our Directory. You won’t regret it.

Click here to choose a plan or amount that works for you in support of CTNewsJunkie and Public Service Journalism.

And thank you.
-doug & christine and the whole CTNewsJunkie crew

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