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To our loyal readers,

Next week we will celebrate Independence Day for the 245th time in this country’s history. July 4th is a perfect day for barbecues, fireworks and family gatherings, it’s also an appropriate time to take stock of the freedoms we enjoy. 

We here at the Weekly are biased, but we are going to put the Freedom of the Press at the top of our list of things to celebrate.

Valuing a free press was central to the formation of the United States. Thomas Paine, a rabble-rouser who earned his keep as pamphleteer, is credited in Common Sense as having first popularized the idea of independence from England in January of 1776. Ben Franklin, one of the principal authors of the Declaration of Independence – the document which was passed by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 – was himself owner and publisher of the Pennsylvania Gazette in the early 1700’s. That an informed citizenry is the best way to advance democracy and ward off tyranny and corruption is deeply ingrained in this country’s history.

I’m writing to you today to ask you to help Monterey County Weekly continue that tradition in the 21st century.

As a reader of Monterey County NOW (our daily newsletter) you have seen firsthand how the Weekly has expanded its news coverage, its publication frequency and its digital footprint. We have made substantial increases in the newsroom at a time when the advertising revenue has declined.

Our business model has shifted in the last 14 months. One of those changes is that the Weekly – while still free in our newsstands and online – is also appealing directly to readers to help fund our newsgathering efforts. Please join over 2,500 of your neighbors today and become a Weekly Insider. Much like other media (think NPR) we are asking the people who appreciate our local and independent journalism to help fund the operation. We designate all those who donate as Insiders. 

It turns out a free press is an expensive enterprise. It takes huge resources to deliver quality reporting on issues central to any community, and in Monterey County we cover eight municipalities and the county government. That’s not simple work. We recognize – based on your utilization of Monterey County NOW – that you think it is valuable work, too.

In honor of Independence Day the Weekly is rolling out it’s first ever Insider incentive program. If you sign up to donate $10/ month by midnight on the 4th of July or make a one-time contribution of $100 or greater, we’ll send you a handy dandy new Weekly Totally Locally tote bag. These high quality, large volume bags are made from 100 percent recycled plastic and are a pretty stylish way to haul groceries, fresh farmers’ market produce and even your weekly edition of Monterey County’s independent newspaper. 

Please support local and independent journalism this 4th of July. Let’s keep the free press strong, resilient and on mission during these unprecedented times.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

-Bradley Zeve, Founder & CEO



 

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