Changes and charity

CN&R has a new look and it’s time for Annie B’s, the local fundraising drive

Some of our savvier readers probably thumbed through this issue thinking that something is just a little different. That's true. We lost about an inch from the paper's height. This is a bad-news, good-news situation. The bad news includes the impetus for our reformatted look: We're no longer printed at Paradise Post Printing, our longtime printer, which closed its doors at the end of June. The worst part is that 41 locals were employed at this Ridge business. We feel for them and their families. On our end, it forced us to find a new press and the best one to meet our needs couldn't print the size we'd become accustomed to.

The good news here is that CN&R's fearless art director, Tina Flynn, has worked some magic, playing with fonts and trimming white space so that readers won't notice much has changed. This column, for example, is the same length. In other cases, stories might contain a couple dozen fewer words. This includes our weekly guest commentary; previously 400 words, now 350.

The other good news is that the new press can print the entire paper in color. That's a big deal. It's been frustrating all these years to have to print a beautiful, colorful photo in black and white. The new size also fits into the front window of our newsstands better. CN&R delivery drivers have had to fold over the issue to properly display it.

We hope you like the new format.

In other news: This is the first week of the Annie B's Community Drive. That's the North Valley Community Foundation's annual fundraising effort that, for the first time ever, the CN&R is taking part in, via our nonprofit arm, the Chico News & Review Foundation. I've written about our foundation in this space before, but, for the uninitiated, it's a way for readers to support local investigative journalism. That type of reporting is critically underfunded around the country.

I mean, nobody is breaking down my office door with money for us to hire a reporter to, say, write about our vulnerable populations: elderly folks, mentally ill citizens, the developmentally disabled, or to write about government accountability and transparency. We do write about these things, but only occasionally at the depths to which they merit. For an example, see last year's piece on the exorbitant compensation of Chico's public safety (“Strong-arming the budget,” by Dave Waddell, Feb. 27, 2014).

In any event, a terrific time to donate is during the Annie B's drive, which runs until Sept. 30. That's because the organization has a cool hundred grand—$50,000 from a local anonymous donor and $50,000 from other community sponsors—to spread among the 200-plus participating organizations. Each nonprofit will get 100 percent of what it raises, plus a portion of that $100,000. Last year, it was about a 7 percent match to each participant, according to NVCF's Jovanni Tricerri.

There are many worthy organizations signed up this year, so if you're not moved by ours, you'll likely find something else in your wheelhouse. To check out the list or to donate, visit