Idaho Dispatch Editor Greg Pruett wrote this administrative post.
Idaho Dispatch will continue on for its third year, but many challenges remain to keep it around long-term.
Today is the second anniversary of the Idaho Dispatch’s founding. It is also a day in which the owners of the Idaho Dispatch, along with my wonderful wife Kristin, discussed the company’s future and whether we could keep it going.
I have a job outside of the Idaho Dispatch, and doing the Dispatch full time and my other work full time adds up to a very long week.
Months ago, we felt that I couldn’t continue on the path I am on for my own health and because my wife does like having her husband around. That meant we needed help and some goals to determine if the Dispatch could continue.
First, our primary goal was to have 350 monthly subscribers by June 3, and we are happy to say that we did meet that goal by getting to 356 subscribers!
In talking to everyone, we agreed that the Idaho Dispatch was needed. Everyone believes that there is a gap in the mainstream media for outlets that try to be as unbiased as possible and aren’t trying to shove an agenda down your throat.
No one disagreed that the Dispatch has provided a valuable place for Idahoans to get political news no matter what side of the political spectrum they fall on.
Our readers have told us over the last two years how much they appreciate the product we are putting forward.
The biggest question was, and still is, how do we fund the operation to keep it going for many years to come?
On the one hand, we can’t be greedy and expect that a news site that has only been going for two years will have 10,000 paying subscribers right off the bat. But, on the other hand, we all understand that it takes time.
After two years, we are at 356 subscribers. That will cover our current operational expenses.
However, our immediate need for getting additional help is about 800 subscribers. At that point, we feel like we could have several reporters doing one article a week from across the state.
That means we need another 450 subscribers as quickly as possible!
Right now, I am the only person submitting news articles. While we do have Op-Eds and press releases, our goal is to increase the number of actual news articles we have to at least two a day.
During our discussion, everyone agreed that increasing funding to be able to hire additional writers is the primary goal.
Another aspect of increasing funding was to seek advertisers who believed in our cause and would stick with us no matter what. We need advertisers who not only want the benefit of advertising for their business but also understand the need to create something better for Idahoans.
Advertising can also help us avoid doing a paywall which was also discussed. We believe that information concerning what your government is and is not doing should not be behind a paywall.
Paywalls are the way most media outlets are moving to, but I want to avoid that if possible.
Advertising will help us avoid doing a paywall; you just have to deal with the annoyance of ads while you are reading.
Another potential avenue for funding the Idaho Dispatch is for us to seek out bigger donors.
One of the biggest concerns anyone has with taking on major investors is that you can’t rely on just one person to keep an operation funded. Additionally, those investors often expect that you will or will not do certain things.
In talking with the other owners of the Idaho Dispatch, we feel that reaching out to some donors who can help fund operations more quickly that it would be beneficial. However, we would clarify at the outset that funding does not mean that we won’t cover stories that may concern them or someone they know.
Idaho Dispatch will not give cover to anyone working in government, even if that means we lose a big donor as a result.
Some big donors could help us by funding some part-time help, at least temporarily, while we work to increase readership and subscribers.
In the end, that’s why we feel that the best long-term objective is to have enough monthly subscribers to ensure that operations can continue and that no one person or company can end our efforts.
I honestly don’t know how we will make it all happen, but we all felt it was necessary to keep the Dispatch going for another year, and that’s what we are going to do.
We hope that Idahoans will respond in kind with their support! So, if you haven’t done so already, please consider becoming a monthly subscriber , which is just $2.97 a month.
If you want to help Idaho Dispatch, even more, consider subscribing at a higher level of $6.97 or $9.97 a month!
The only way we can create a better situation for Idahoans is by supporting those making an effort to bring about that change.
Idaho Dispatch hopes we can be the change you are hoping for in your local media.
Thank you in advance to all our new subscribers, and thank you to all who are currently supporting our effort. A big thank you to all of our readers as well because without anyone reading the content, none of this will matter.
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