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What are you Worth?


May 5, 2010 by wcobserver

Editorial Feburary 25, 2010

What you are about to read is not a pretty sight. No one enjoys seeing a grown man grovel, whine and beg for money. But we’re talking survival here.  We’ve done our best to create a high quality community newspaper and the outpouring of gratitude has been astounding.  To say a community newspaper is important to small towns is one thing – to actually see and experience it is heart wrenching.  People seem to be saying, “Finally, somebody thinks our lives are important enough to write about and photograph. “

But birth is a fragile phenomena.  Life has been breathed into this 27 year community institution but  life support won’t last forever. If the residents of south Washington county want this paper to exist many more need to step up and make a commitment.

There are powerful forces that want this paper to fail.  The economy is in the tank, money is tight, and competition for businesses’ limited advertising budget is fierce.  There is now only one other newspaper company in NW Arkansas – they are powerful and they are hungry. They have it all and history tells us that a monopoly doesn’t tolerate competition.  

It works like this. All media such as radio, television, newspapers and magazines, charge the advertiser a rate based on how many people are tuning in or reading their publication.  The more people watching, listening or reading, the more money the media company can charge the advertiser.  For a newspaper this means without paid subscribers they can’t attract businesses to advertise. Without advertising revenue they can’t produce their product. Game over.

How many subscribers does a weekly paper need to stay alive?  The Elkins paper has 900, Gravette has 1,400, Gentry has 1,300, Lincoln 2,700, for example.  Our readership area, Greenland, West Fork and Winslow has about 5,000 mail boxes, We have sent four free copies of the Observer to those boxes.  We have shown you what we have to offer.  Simply put, we need about a forth of you to subscribe to this little paper in order to survive.  We need to show businesses that the advertising space they are buying will go into over 1,200 homes.  We need 1 in 4 of the folks who got the paper free to subscribe.

The cowboy is up and the bucking has begun. How long we stay up is entirely up to you, the readers.  If we don’t get the subscriptions we need to survive it’ll be time to bring out the clowns and you go back to reading about what’s happening in Bentonville. 

Support our advertisers. Tell those businesses that they saw their ad in the Observer. Encourage businesses where you shop to advertise in the Observer.

We are proud to offer a product you can’t get anywhere else in the world. ..the world.  No matter how many channels on your wide screen, no matter how many internet news sites you surf, no matter how many newspapers and magazines you get, none of them has what the Observer has – news about you.  And it only cost fifty cents…are you worth it?



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