For those of you who know me, you know it is not in my character to ask our readers for anything other than a quote or permission to publish their photo in the paper.
But the challenges of 2020 have taken a toll on local businesses, The Coastal Star included. The impact of COVID-19 has been such a shock to our community that we have seen a significant drop in advertising. Most restaurants had to close for months and entertainment venues have had to delay their season’s plans till next year.
In our April edition, we asked you to help by paying for advertising to promote those local businesses, and many of you did. Thank you.
But the impact of the virus has been relentless and we were forced to publish in alternate months for the summer to avoid significant losses.
So now we ask again for your help.
The Florida Press Association is partnering with its members, including The Coastal Star, to launch the Community News Fund, creating a way for readers like you to make tax-deductible donations to support community journalism.
In many of the small towns that we cover, it has been more than a decade since any reporter, other than ours, has shown up to a commission meeting or other local events. We are filling that responsibility, and we enjoy it.
By donating to The Coastal Star, you will help our journalists keep our residents informed, hold officials accountable and cover the most important topics in our community.
For example, your donations will ensure that we have the space in the paper to report on philanthropy, the arts, the environment and health and medicine.
My friend Jim Fogler, the CEO of the Florida Press Association, put it well: “Local newspapers play a critical role in our communities, making us all stronger and more engaged citizens. Newspapers are dedicated to keeping you informed. Whether it is a local issue or a worldwide pandemic, they are there to provide consistent news coverage that you can trust.”
To contribute, go to https://fpf.column.us/the-coastal-star.
You can also visit our recently revamped website and click on the banner ad promoting this nonprofit giving opportunity: www.thecoastalstar.com
— Jerry Lower, Publisher