Since we bought The Times back in October of 2011 we have done our best to provide quality local news for the readers we serve in Brownsville, Halsey, Shedd, Tangent Harrisburg and the surrounding communities. As one of Oregon’s oldest newspapers (est. 1888) we have worked hard to ensure it could continue beyond ourselves. Newspapers are an essential part of thriving small towns. We cover city council meetings, school board meetings (Central Linn School District), gather information from other organizations, highlight new businesses and share stories of just a few of the wonderful individuals that live here.
For years we have optimized, cut costs, reluctantly reduced staff, and most recently closed our Brownsville office in order to keep printing The Times. It hasn’t been easy going from 5 employees (including myself) down to me, a part time reporter, and a bookkeeper.
The decision to close the office and work entirely from home was especially difficult. But paying for office rent would not have left enough funds for the newspaper to continue. So, we accepted this new challenge of trying to arrange a meeting place for future interviews. Having a community newspaper was more important. We’ve accepted a lot of similar (and some more difficult) sacrifices and challenges, all to ensure that our readers would be able to have a copy of The Times each week.
Unfortunately, more challenges lie ahead. Printing isn’t going to get any cheaper and postage is going up again. Also, our bi-annual “pledge drives” asking for local businesses to support us by advertising in our special editions (published in the summer and winter) fell far short of the need. If The Times is to survive into 2024 we need to secure some funding in order to continue.
The goal for this fundraiser is based on the weekly cost of $625 to print and mail an issue of The Times. We realize raising the full goal amount will be difficult and any amount we raise will help and be greatly appreciated (donated funds will be sent to us even if the goal has not been reached).
However, if we are able to reach this goal, it would provide a stable funding source for basic expenses through the end of 2024. We are still hopeful for additional advertising and new subscriptions (myself and several members of the community are actively working on this). Another benefit involves a real need of the newspaper. Currently coverage of stories and events is often delayed or doesn’t happen due to our lack of staff. Reaching this goal could allow us to hire another part time reporter.
If you value small communities, and the role newspapers play in them, please consider donating. Let’s do what we can to avoid another newspaper fading into the past.
I sincerely thank you for your time,
Vance Parrish, Editor & Owner – The Times (V&H Media LLC)