Beacon Benchmark: A more resilient funding model for local journalism—what do you say?

Over the last two months, revenue for the B Square Beacon is up about 20 percent. The number of “paid subscribers” is up by the same amount.

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At last count, 108 patrons have pledged a total of $856 a month to support The Square Beacon.

It’s a solid number. But it won’t sustain one reporter, let alone the full newsroom of journalists that I think this community deserves.

Still, any upward trend is counter to the sharp revenue drop that traditional news outlets have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That makes me believe a full local newsroom could be supported with the voluntary subscription model used by The Square Beacon.

Compared to traditional news outlets, it’s a model that relies on more rank-and-file  community members to provide smaller contributions.

I think that approach will be more resilient in times of economic crisis than one that relies on fewer, but much larger contributions. Continue reading “Beacon Benchmark: A more resilient funding model for local journalism—what do you say?”

Square Beacon Benchmark | January 2020 a small step towards proof: Readers will support handcrafted local news

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A pint of Theorem beer from Function Brewing on 6th Street, just east of the square in downtown Bloomington, Indiana.

Fair warning: This is a pitch to support The Square Beacon with a monthly pledge. If you’ve been meaning to pledge, but just haven’t gotten around to it, please choose this moment to do it: Subscribe now! Thank you to everyone who has already pledged. 

I live in downtown Bloomington, upstairs from a place called Function Brewing—where the names of the handcrafted beer all have mathematical themes. My favorite is called Theorem, and it’s the one I always order. Every time.

Why? As I tell any new server at Function, it’s because I want to have something to prove. (Hilarity always ensues, because it’s a great joke, and I will fight anybody who says different.) Continue reading “Square Beacon Benchmark | January 2020 a small step towards proof: Readers will support handcrafted local news”