In a frank article about the paper’s future, the owners of US independent newspaper the Berkeley Daily Planet admit they don’t have a solution for plugging the revenue gap in their ailing ad-supported business model.
Enter the Fund for Local Reporting, which is asking for donations large and small to keep the Planet running.
“As we explained in a recent editorial, paying salaries and benefits just for the reporters and editors who cover local news adds up to at least $250,000 a year. That doesn’t include production, rent, printing, distribution, sales etc,” reads the online payment form.
The O’Malleys, the paper’s owners, are also exploring developing the fund into a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organisation. Indeed, they’ve been toying with lots of ideas – part of a ‘reality check’, the editor says – including voluntary subscriptions and migrating to the web [All ideas mooted in today’s #cfund debate]. They might not know what the solution is, and this might be a last roll of the dice, but they’re certainly going for it with all they’ve got.