Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

By Julie Reeder
Publisher 

We're celebrating 20 years!

 

Last updated 12/24/2017 at 6:26pm



I must hear once a week, “But aren’t newspapers dying?” or there’s even the person who says it authoritatively to me like they are delivering news to me that I need to hear (and have never heard before) “Well, you know newspapers are dying and digital is the future.”

What’s true is that more people still pick up a newspaper Monday morning after the Super Bowl than actually watched the Super Bowl. And newspaper readers are statistically “influencers.” They are typically more educated and informed than people who depend on radio, TV, magazines or social media. And, people want news more than ever, it’s just that a lot of people want it instantly now instead of waiting until the morning paper is delivered.

We get it, and for 20 years we’ve been offering it for free 24/7, but every business has to change with the times and newspapers more than most. So in addition to becoming a full digital agency we’re implementing even more changes.

By the way, there’s still plenty of people who want to read their morning paper, and in fact, newspaper subscriptions have skyrocketed just in the last year alone, probably in the wake of national attention being given to the biases of some news outlets, which is a problem in our country. Democracy depends on good information so that our electorate is informed. Imagine if all the information we received was hearsay and emotional outbursts of social media?

Village News is continuing to change. A lot of it is great, and some of it is just necessary.

We have about 50,000 unique users a month (last week during the fires we had that many in seven days) and we’re launching a new website this week.

One of the things we are doing is offering a merchant store for our community. This doesn’t compete with our retailers, but it allows local people and home-based businesses to sell items in our store. Since we are a full digital agency now, we will be able to help market their products. This will be a win-win for everyone. I’m very excited about this. It should be ready in the next few weeks.

We also now have a new subscriber module, which will be great. It allows you to manage your own subscription online, including vacation breaks, etc. This is an efficiency move on our part as well.

Our new classifieds are completely automated so you can input them 24/7 and pay for them and manage how often they run. We’re offering everyone a free classified in order to introduce the new system to our readers. Prefer to have someone in our office do it for you over the phone? We can still do that as well.

You can still submit a press releases to us through the website.

New pdf version of the paper will still be available for people who want to read the paper in that format and the links in the ads will still be live.

There will be new photo galleries!

We are calling for 100 new bloggers who want to have their voices heard on whatever subject they believe the community would be interested in hearing.

And the last thing that we’ve fought against for 20 years - we are going to have to put up a paywall on our websites.

We just have to. One thing we hear when calling for renewals on subscriptions is “Oh, I just read it online now.” While we appreciate that our readers are still engaged with our product, we’ve had to face the fact that we can’t spend over a million dollars a year creating our product and then give it away for free. It’s just a bad business model, and while we are a business that does a lot of public good, we still have to make money to survive. This will actually allow us to do more for the community and it will support more staff, which we desperately need.

My hope is that the community embraces this instead of being angry over it. We are worth supporting financially (at $4 /month), along with cable, Spotify, Netflix, YouTube Red, etc. We are more than hard news writers and disseminators. Of course we follow water stories, crime stories, sex parlors on Main Street stories, etc, but we support hundreds of nonprofit organizations with at least one press release to the public a month. This is crucial to our town and our way of life.

We support all the schools and try to get as much positive news out as we can about good things kids and students are accomplishing because in a small town – that is news! We want to encourage positive behavior from a young age and applaud it. Why only give kids attention when they break the law?

And while business is mostly supported by advertising, that’s important too. For the health of our local economy, our businesses have to have a way to reach the public with their products and services, and working with the Chambers of Commerce is another important link. They do a lot for our little towns.

So, our plea to our community is this: We cannot survive on advertising alone. Please support our staff and their families and the whole community by subscribing for yourself or a friend You can choose to have a paper delivered, or just read the stories online through our paywall. This month we need your support in order to stay in business and keep providing award-winning news. Also, if you are interested in investing, we would be interested in talking to you.

Thank you for 20 years. We love what we do and are looking forward to another 20!

Julie Reeder and staff

Village News

Reeder Media

P.S. We owe a lot of thanks to Vincent Trevino, an efficiency expert we hired who has helped us with this as well as automating and updating other outdated systems in our business. And Forest, who has been instrumental in the changeover and management of not only the current website, but prior ones as well. Thanks guys!

 

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