Fundraising Fridays

I’ve got a short FRF post for you today, to remind you that The Alamedan will be at Crab Cove for tonight’s final Concerts at the Cove gig. We’ll have the donation jar out, and a contribution of $5 earns you a chance to win one of our Alameda T-shirts (we’ll pick three winners). You can also sign up to receive our daily e-mail with the day’s featured news, and we’ll take your news tips and site suggestions too. Stop on over at our table and say hi!

The free, two-hour show gets underway at 5:30 p.m., and this one’s a battle of the bands. Crab Cove is at 1252 McKay Avenue.

As we frantically worked to launch The Alamedan early this year, my former editor, mentor and (now) advisory board member Terry Winckler forwarded me a lengthy post from media prognosticator Clay Shirky on online newspaper paywalls. In it, Shirky offered an interesting statistic: About one in 100 of The New York Times’ readers pay for the news they’re getting from the paper online, while roughly one in 12 National Public Radio listeners contribute to their local affiliates for what they’re getting.

“Newspapers with thresholds now aspire to NPR’s persuasiveness,” Shirky wrote.

It’s probably not news to you that the news industry is struggling in the bloody wake of skyrocketing costs, plummeting revenues and yet another avenue of delivery that has arguably undermined the primacy of (almost) everything that came before.

The last decade has seen wave after wave of journalists laid off and print newspapers shrink and more recently, disappear under the crushing weight of delivery and newsprint costs. One of our primary goals at The Alamedan is to reverse that trend and to make more news available. But as I’ve said before, doing that costs money. So the question you may have is, “How much?”

It was nearly a year ago that I realized how much Alameda needed an additional news outlet that could keep an eye the public officials that make decisions on our behalf. I was at an untelevised school board meeting in a conference room that was attended by three people – myself, the president of Alameda’s teachers union and Kurt Peterson.