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By Jeb Bing

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About this blog: A longtime newspaperman, I have been editor of the Pleasanton Weekly since it was launched Jan. 28, 2000. I was a reporter and Neighborhood News editor at the Chicago Tribune for 13 years, and previously a reporter for the Advance...  (More)

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Let's keep local journalism thriving

Uploaded: May 5, 2011
Let's keep local journalism thriving

For more than a decade, the Pleasanton Weekly has delivered news about our town dependably every Friday. We have brought you stories about your kids, our city government and all the issues affecting the quality of life in our community. We've run your letters and photos and kept you informed about local events. Our website, PleasantonWeekly.com, has become the place residents turn to for breaking local news to post their own stories and photos, and to discuss news and events in the community.

But today the viability of local journalism everywhere is now threatened, and the time has finally come to ask our readers to pay some of the freight through paid subscriptions/memberships.

Why should you pay for something that you've been receiving for free? The short answer is that I'm hoping readers will pay for a service they value, and that by paying a modest $5/month membership fee you can help ensure that Pleasanton continues to have a strong newspaper and community website covering what's happening in our town.

Until now, we have been able to rely completely on advertising by local businesses to sustain our journalistic work. But that business model has been undermined by the prolonged recession and by a shift in advertising to the Internet. For any serious publication to be able to continue to employ professional journalists who cover local news, readers will need to start sharing the costs with advertisers.

Our reader surveys show intense support in the community for the Pleasanton Weekly and our website, and a strong appetite for local news coverage. I was immensely gratified that a just-completed survey shows the Weekly is by far the best-read paper and most-visited local website among residents.

Thus we turn to you, the ultimate beneficiaries of our journalism, to help sustain our efforts. Instead of requiring paid subscriptions, or a "pay wall" on our website, our goal is for our readers to sign up as "members," through either an annual payment or (better for us) a recurring monthly credit card charge of $5 or more. You can do this very simply and securely on this website. All supporting members will be acknowledged in thank you ads in the Weekly and recognized on PleasantonWeekly.com, will be invited to special members-only events, receive a "Support Local Journalism" bumper sticker and special members-only offers from local businesses.

Whether you read the Pleasanton Weekly, turn to PleasantonWeekly.com or rely on Express, our e-daily local news digest e-mailed each day, I'm hoping you'll show your support for local journalism by becoming a member today. We are very proud of our efforts to build a stronger community. Our annual Holiday Fund campaign, which raised more than $150,000 over the past holiday season, earned us the Business Philanthropy Award from the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce in 2011 and a top recognition last month from the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

Your help will enable us to maintain and expand this strong local journalism effort for the Pleasanton community
What is it worth to you?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Ethics needed, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on May 6, 2011 at 1:24 am

I support local journalism by subscribing to a real newspaper like the Bay Area News Group papers.

The Weekly is more of an opinion paper than a newspaper. The editor does not practice objective journalism.

Why is the editor allowed to write articles and editorials about a school parcel tax when his wife works for the school union at Foothill High School? Why does Jeb not disclose this conflict of interest? His family income depends on his wife's work at the school district. He keeps writing about how a parcel tax is needed but fails to disclose that the parcel tax could benefit him directly.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jeb Bing, editor of the Pleasanton Weekly,
on May 6, 2011 at 7:35 am

Jeb Bing is a registered user.

The fact that my wife works for the school district has been disclosed many times over. I do not write stories about school district issues. Our reporter Glenn Wohltmann covers education, schools and school board meetings for the Weekly. Our editorial board determines editorial policy and the preparation of views and opinions of the Pleasanton Weekly.

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