The turning of the calendar presents opportunities for reflection and gratitude. We at the Jewish Independent are particularly grateful this year for the support we have experienced as a community institution. And that leads us to offer an expression of gratitude to you – our readers, our advertisers, our donors.
This year has seen the JI expand into a more fulsome and engaging online presence, with a fresh website and greater impact on social media. With the paper available in more than 35 locations, our content is reaching a wide audience.
The JI is, ostensibly, a for-profit venture. Realistically, it is a labor of love undertaken by a small group of people led by a sole proprietor. So, it is especially gratifying that the issue that you hold in your hands today – or have before you on your computer – is chockablock with advertisements. These advertisements are the lifeblood of this publication. More than ever before, everything outside of advertising is a zero sum game. Subscription fees cover only mailing costs. Everything else – staff time, writers’ compensation, printing, everything that goes into making a newspaper – is funded almost exclusively by advertising. In the last couple of years, many of you have been generous enough to donate to the paper, and this has helped greatly.
We continue to believe that this newspaper is irreplaceable glue for this community, a mirror and a place for dialogue.
While we need money – we are not going to lie about that – we also need the incredible diversity of talent that defines this community. If you or someone you know could make a contribution of time as a writer, as a filmmaker, a performer, a fundraiser, a social-media maven, or in whatever form suits your talents, you can make an important contribution to the continued success of this 84-year-old community publication.
Do not underestimate the power of your voice. If you saw something insightful in this week’s paper or online, tell your friends. Word-of-mouth may be as valuable as anything else in ensuring that the JI remains vital. Share on Facebook (like us!), Tweet about us (follow us!), pass your hard copy or forward your e-version to friends and family. Visit our website weekly, or even daily. There is always something new to read or watch, and the more activity we can demonstrate, the greater the revenue the site generates, making it possible for us to do more of what we do best.
Consider gift subscriptions for those close to you – or those far away, who would enjoy news from home. When considering birthday, graduation or other gifts, a book or a piece of exercise equipment (the JI understands the mind-body connection, after all), shop for them at Amazon or Astone Fitness via our website, as the paper receives a portion of sales.
If you pick up the paper for free at the Jewish Community Centre or one of our other depots, we value and need your readership, for sure, but please consider a donation. Any contribution is appreciated, and makes more impact than you can imagine.
And, of course, please support our advertisers – and let them know you understand the role they play in strengthening Jewish life in British Columbia by making possible everything we do in these pages and online.
All of these small but vitally important actions can make the difference between whether this 84-year-old community institution survives or whether we follow the fate of many other newspapers in this extremely difficult time for the industry.
We are moving in the right direction. The JI remains a strong example of small media done right (and a wall full of awards attest to the quality of our work). But we can’t do it alone. We need to work together if we – and so many other community organizations and businesses – are going to thrive for another eight decades.