Athol Daily News launches COVID-19 local news fund

  • PUBLISHER MICHAEL MOSES

Published: 4/7/2020 2:13:15 PM
Modified: 4/7/2020 2:13:07 PM

For 86 years, the Athol Daily News has been telling the story of our community. Today, the newspaper itself is part of that story.

Our business has always been supported by readers who buy subscriptions and local businesses who pay to place their advertisements alongside our stories. Anyone who has followed the challenges of local newspapers across the country knows that those financial underpinnings have become increasingly strained in recent years. The past several weeks have proven to be the most challenging.

We have a couple of things working in our favor, though. Our history and our reach in the North Quabbin area and beyond puts us in a position to help our advertisers rebound once the threat of COVID-19 finally retreats. And we have a strong base of loyal readers, many of whom have reached out to us in recent weeks with words of encouragement and support.

Now these loyal readers and local advertisers have another way to support local news. Last week the nonprofit Local Media Association introduced a fund that helps support local COVID-19 coverage during this pandemic. You can make a tax-deductible donation at atholdailynews.com.

The fund introduced last week was created for papers like the Athol Daily News. The news business in recent years has been increasingly dominated by corporate giants, in some cases backed by hedge funds. The Athol Daily News and its parent company, Newspapers of New England, remain locally based and family run. Only local, independent, family-run publications are eligible to participate in this donation fund.

There are other ways you can help, too.

Subscribe: Since early March, we’ve made COVID-19 coverage content, determined to be relevant to public health and safety, free on our website, despite the costs associated with producing local journalism. We’ve done so because we feel our most critical mission is to deliver vital information to our communities. The best way to support local news is to become a long-term reader. The more people connect with their community, the stronger we all become.

Gift subscriptions: If you are already a subscriber, thank you. We appreciate your commitment to local journalism. You might know someone in your family who’d like to make a deeper connection to their community. Our digital subscriptions may be perfect for them. For less than $2 per week, they’ll get access to atholdailynews.com, and our digital e-edition app, where you’ll find a daily replica of our print edition.

Bulk subscriptions: Maybe you are among the companies or institutions doing well despite the crisis. We offer bulk digital subscriptions. To inquire about rates and setup, please contact Circulation Manager Jillian McBride at 413-585-5336 or jmcbride@gazettenet.com.

Support your local businesses: They need your help, too. We’ve written plenty about the benefits of shopping locally because when you keep your money in our community, it has a far greater impact than that same money being spent at a national chain. Buy a gift card to a local shop, pick up dinner at a local restaurant, and think local when it comes time for your next big purchase.

Advertise: We deeply value our advertisers who speak directly to our readers. We know this isn’t an easy time for anyone. Our advertising staff is available to help any businesses looking to get their message out during this pandemic. For those businesses forced to sit on the sidelines, eventually this will pass, and when it does, the Athol Daily News will be there to help our community get back to work.

Hope: These are indeed challenging times. As what we used to consider normal, or even mundane, slips further back in our memories, we must draw upon our most sustaining assets. Whether faith in our beliefs, a promise of better days, or undeterred confidence; it is simply, the power of hope.

Emily Dickinson captured the essence with the introduction to her poem, “Hope.”

“Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul

And sings the tune without the words

And never stops — at all.”

We’ll keep singing that tune. Thanks for singing along with us.

Michael Moses is the publisher of the Athol Daily News.

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Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Telephone: (413) 772-0261

 

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