Press Forward 2016

$13,093 of $50k goal

Raised by 158 people in 12 months
Matthew Everett  KNOXVILLE, TN
Since launching in March 2015, the Knoxville Mercury  has become an award-winning journalism enterprise. 

We’ve made a sizable impact on the local media landscape. Beyond our unmatched arts and entertainment coverage and criticism, we go into depth about local issues that truly matter: We broke the news  of a Walmart developer’s plans to demolish one of the most historic houses in North Knoxville. We exposed a plan  to sell the Knoxville College campus to a developer—without public disclosure. We showed  how guidelines for hilltop development are virtually ignored by Knox County government. We brought to light  accusations that Knox County Schools’ sex-education presentations create shame and fear rather than an informed student body.

But please don’t take us for granted. In our second year, we must build on our achievements by ensuring the Mercury’s sustainability as an ongoing business. 

We have a unique ownership structure: The Knoxville History Project , a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization dedicated to researching, promoting, and celebrating Knoxville’s cultural heritage and history, is the “sole member,” the equivalent of the owner, of the Knoxville Mercury. Any profits from the Mercury go not to enrich any owner or investor, but to support the educational programs of the Knoxville History Project.

And we’re on our way to sustained profitability. But we still need you to get involved and ensure that Knoxville’s independent news source thrives and helps build the community we all want to see. Here are some of our plans for the next few months:

Expand our sales team. We have exactly two sales executives for more than 200 clients. That’s simply too much work for only two people. We need another salaried sales person who’s got the experience and the passion to help us expand our client base. 

Hire a development director. Our original budget plan for publishing the paper included significant public and foundation support. We believe there’s potentially a lot more financial support to be found if we had one person whose sole responsibility is to develop it.

Increase our distribution. The Knoxville Mercury currently has about 300 drop-off points in Knox, Blount, and Anderson counties, with a distribution of 25,000 copies. Most of them get picked up and read. But we need more public visibility in more locations. (You can find a map of our newsstands here .) 

Hire an assistant art director. Part of our plan to increase ad sales is to add more special publications and issues like Get Out and Play or our Top Knox readers’ poll. Those sorts of endeavors require a lot of extra effort on top of producing a weekly paper. 

We are passionate about this, but we need your help to create the paper you want and deserve. Between April 21 and May 20, we're running a fundraising campaign to support these immediate goals. Our overall goal is $100,000—$50,000 through GoFundMe and $50,000 through new advertising and donations to the Knoxville History Project. (For more info on advertising, email sales@knoxmercury.com or call 865-313-2048. For more info on tax-deductible donations to KHP, go here .)


If you appreciate anything the Knoxville Mercury has published, or if you feel that having an independent voice in Knoxville is important, then now is the time to show your support!
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Update 4
Posted by Matthew Everett
10 months ago
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A note from editor Coury Turczyn:

As you may have read in the Mercury, our overall Press Forward fundraising campaign for 2016 met its goal. Thus, we've started tackling plans to increase our distribution, expand our sales team, hire a development director, and launch new weekly features.

We're also rethinking our League of Supporters program -- so, until we roll that out, we're keeping our gofundme page up for anyone who wants to make new donations.

As we dig into our second year of existence, we have high ambitions for what we want to achieve—and none of it would be possible without your direct financial help. This is a new way of looking at print and online journalism: as a community-wide effort rather than as just another impersonal corporate division. We’re doing our best to figure it out as we go along, and we appreciate your belief that we will get it right.

Thank you one and all!
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Update 3
Posted by Matthew Everett
12 months ago
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Beer! Free tickets! Independent journalism! What more can you ask for?

If you donate any amount between now and 5:30 p.m., we'll enter your name in a drawing to win a pair of passes to Brewhibition in the Old City on Saturday, April 30.

We'll notify the winners on Friday.
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Update 2
Posted by Matthew Everett
12 months ago
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Last weekend, the Knoxville Mercury made its debut at the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists' annual Golden Press Card competition—and we walked away with 13 big wins against the area's largest daily newspapers.

We're taking this as evidence that reader-supported independent print media can make a difference. We're especially proud of taking first place in our "big three" categories: investigative reporting, feature writing, and design. These are the cornerstones we launched our paper on: in-depth, long-form reporting of complex issues; well-written features that are entertaining to read; and superb, compelling design.

We hope you find that level of quality worth supporting. Although our content is free, it costs money to produce. So if you've ever thought, "I'd pay for this!" then now is the time to do just that.

If you've already donated, thanks! If you've thought about it, now's the time! And please share news about the paper and our fundraising effort with your friends and family.

Racking up awards at SPJ!
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Update 1
Posted by Matthew Everett
12 months ago
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Thanks for all the support so far!

We've got a new incentive—donate $100 or more between now and noon on Saturday, April 23, and you'll be entered in a drawing to win one of two pairs of weekend passes to the Shaky Knees Music Fest in Atlanta on May 13-15, with Florence + the Machine, My Morning Jacket, Jane's Addiction, and more.

That's a chance at a $430 value for just $100! Somebody's going to get a good deal.

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$13,093 of $50k goal

Raised by 158 people in 12 months
Created April 18, 2016
SH
$100
Stephanie Hall
1 month ago

Honey, this year I need a donation receipt!

JR
$100
Jimmie Jane Ray
4 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$10
Anonymous
4 months ago (Monthly Donation)
JR
$100
Jimmie Jane Ray
5 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$10
Anonymous
5 months ago (Monthly Donation)
SB
$5
stephanie bonovich
5 months ago
SM
$15
S Milberry
5 months ago
JR
$100
Jimmie Jane Ray
6 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$10
Anonymous
6 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$500
Anonymous
6 months ago
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