It could be the end
Over the last 25 years, we have financed RN&R with advertising, mainly from local businesses promoting social gatherings at concerts, theaters, galleries and in bars and restaurants. The coronavirus-related shutdowns, postponements and cancellations are having a huge impact on these advertisers and our local economy.
Many of these businesses have been forced to cut their advertising back to the point that we will probably have to suspend publishing and lay off our amazing and talented staff, at least temporarily.
Over the years, we have experienced numerous crises. We were able to use our financial reserves to pull us through those times when advertising revenues were less than expenses. We were able to keep the paper going and to continue to provide local coverage.
But over the last 10 years, as more and more businesses have moved their advertising dollars to Facebook and Google, the foundation of the media business model has crumbled. These large internet companies collected revenues without having to generate expensive local coverage. This has caused a crisis for most media companies, including the News & Review.
Information and good journalism is needed now more than ever. And our dedicated team is experienced at sorting through and presenting complex information and then getting that vital information out to the community. Each month, nearly 100,000 people read RN&R, according to the independent Media Audit.
But without advertising revenue, we can’t meet our payroll.
The community cost of not having good information during a crisis is staggering. People need to know what their local governments and public health organizations are doing. They need to know what is happening with schools and daycare. They need to know how local businesses are adapting services, such as restaurants that are pivoting to take-out and delivery. And they need help dealing with the emotional side of such a crisis.
At our sister paper in Chico, we produced more than 300 stories after the 2018 Camp Fire devastated Paradise. Our award-winning journalism helped the community cope with the aftermath. The impact of this coronavirus crisis will also be long-lasting.
There is a misperception that content somehow just exists on the internet. That content needs to be created first. And that is our business. We are appealing to anyone who wants to help keep our journalism alive. To donate, go to newsreview.com/reno/donate.
Over the last 25 years we have worked to make Reno a better place. We would like to continue to do this work. If you can help, please email me.