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Do you like having local news? Read this. It’s important.

D'ish Decatur slideshow

Do you like having local news? Read this. It’s important.

DeKalb County Georgia. Source: Google Maps.

Dear Readers,

On Sunday I began a new push to increase our subscribers, the people who pay to make sure community news isn’t stuck behind a pay wall. Our response so far has been encouraging. We increased our subscriptions from around 200 or so to 263. That’s great news. There are 50,000 of you who view the website each month. Our goal is to get 3 percent of our monthly visitors – 1,500 readers – to pitch in to help us continue to provide news and, more importantly, grow our website.

Until we reach that goal, you’re going to be hearing more from me about why this is important.

We offered a couple of new subscription options, one for $3 a month and one for $60 a year. To my surprise, many readers are opting to sign up for $60 a year. If I had known this option would receive that kind of response, I would’ve offered it a couple of years ago. In retrospect, it makes total sense. Most people don’t like paying monthly bills, even marginal ones. It’s a way to support our cause without dealing with the hassle of recording it in your checkbook.

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To those who have signed up, thank you. To those who are still on the fence, I’d ask you to consider what I’ve built here and think about how much further we can go. Because it’s not about me. It’s about you.

I know full and well not everyone loves everything we do, our three years of Creative Loafing awards notwithstanding. Not everyone thinks they should pay for something they get for free. I get both of those things.

But really, it’s about choices. The major media covering our area cover topics sporadically, if they cover them at all. Your daily newspaper usually gets about 200 words a day to tell you what’s going on in your community. The television networks only show up when things catch on fire, or when they read something really interesting on this website. (I could go through the litany of TV news stories that were inspired by things we’ve written here, but that’s for another column.)

By having more subscribers, I can offer you even more choices. I don’t want this to be my news website. I want it to be yours. I want it to be a reflection of your community, with diverse voices and viewpoints. Until we get there, you’ll have to make do with me, and even I get sick of listening to myself.

So if you value local news, if you think it’s essential to have access to this kind of information, if you think elected officials should be held accountable, if you think there are more stories worth telling that aren’t being told, please stop what you’re doing and become a subscriber. It’s important.

To subscribe for $3 a month, click here.

To subscribe for $6 a month, click here.

To subscribe for $12.99 a month, click here.

To subscribe for $60 a year, click here.

To make a contribution without a recurring subscription, click here.

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