Editor’s column: No better time than now to support Now
More people are reading Gig Harbor Now these days than at any other time in our two-plus years as a nonprofit digital newspaper.
We have a new-and-improved calendar (more about that later) and a fun community announcements section. Our reporters are keeping an eye on new housing developments, covering this month’s election, and probing the ins and outs of the school district’s reading curriculum.
If you like what we’re doing, there’s no better time than now to support Now.
When the calendar flips to November, we turn our attention to the annual NewsMatch fundraising campaign. It’s a great way to leverage local donations and reap additional benefits from a bevy of big-name national foundations.
It’s all run by the Institute for Nonprofit News. As an independent, nonprofit newsroom, we are members of INN.
What is NewsMatch? Well, it’s right there in the name. Those big-name donors — they include Democracy Fund, Knight Foundation and Google News Initiative, among others — match any local contribution to nonprofit newsrooms like ours between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31.
With the support of readers like you, we hope to earn $50,000 through NewsMatch. It’s a huge part of our annual budget. Your support allows us continue producing the high-impact journalism that the Gig Harbor community has proven so hungry for.
Speaking of which — we recently had our two best months ever, in terms of readership. In both September and October, Gig Harbor Now soared past 130,000 page views from nearly 60,000 users.
If you’re one of those readers (and you are, since you’re reading this column) can you help? Click here to donate.
Survey says …
We recently asked our readers for some feedback via a brief survey that we sent to our newsletter subscribers, website readers and social media followers.
Wow, did you ever respond. More than 400 people took the survey. Even better, 209 took the time to type out responses to our open-ended question: “How can we improve Gig Harbor Now to meet/exceed your expectations?”
You had some good ideas. Here are a few of the suggestions from readers:
Send newsletters and breaking news more promptly
We have been sending one email newsletter a week, at around 3 p.m.Fridays. Given the feedback from our survey, we will increase to twice a week, on Wednesday morning and Friday afternoon.
We will also start sending email alerts on breaking or urgent stories.
That said, the survey results also drove home for us that many people think of us as only a newsletter. Our newsletter(s) are a recap of what’s happened during the week, but more content is available on our website on a daily basis.
We post at least a couple articles every day, along with obituaries, letters to the editor, calendar listings and more. Check us out!
Tell us how to interact with your reporters
As one survey-taker wrote: “Please have your reporters include their email address with their articles. Giving your readers the opportunity to provide further information to them or to ask a question about their content. “
This is a great idea and one we can adopt relatively quickly. We’ll get to work on it.
With all of the above in mind, we were blown away by the response to the survey and how many people expressed appreciation for the work we’re doing. So many of the responses were variations of “I like it as is,” “Keep it coming,” and “The staff is doing a great job.”
Thanks so much for your support and your feedback.
You can now view an entire month’s worth of events to help figure out what you want to do. We encourage you to submit events to our calendar, too. Our goal is for the calendar to become the go-to location for finding out what’s happening in the Gig Harbor area. (You need to have a user account with Gig Harbor Now to submit a calendar listing, but creating one only takes a few seconds and we will never sell your information.)
We also invite you to visit our new Community Announcements page, where you can submit and read announcements in three categories: Kudos, Celebrations and Pets. Readers can post brief snippets about anything from a high school graduation to a wedding anniversary to a kid catching his first fish.
Or you can just share photos of your cute dog or cat.
Thanks again for helping us tell Gig Harbor’s story.
Vince Dice has been the editor of Gig Harbor Now since March 2022. Contact him at [email protected].