At $10 A Year, Can You Afford Not To Support Local News?

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Focus Daily News cover

Together We Are Better

DESOTO – Sometimes bigger is not better.

Even in Texas!

For example, while your hometown paper might be smaller it also offers more unique personalized articles because that is what we do best.We know the key players – because we take the time.

For years I have heard newspapers were going under. The very thought of it distresses me.

In a world where you can get your news 24/7 online, on the television and so on … the one thing that has always been harder to get is news about where you live – from your own community.

Enter newspapers like Focus Daily News

For all those residents in our readership area; the Best Southwest and beyond, did you know we are the paper publishing all the public notices that relate to DeSoto, Duncanville, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Glenn Heights and Hutchins? So for example, if there is a public hearing coming up or a meeting or just an event in your area that you don’t have to drive across town to attend – well, that is what we offer – a chance to know what is happening in your own backyard.

Water rates going up? Property taxes to increase? Sewage Treatment facility wants to come to town? New Shopping Center? Yup. There is one place you will find out early enough to do about it. Focus Daily News – Your local newspaper!

These days, that is important.

And there’s the impact on local markets and businesses. Recently, Jo Ann Holt wrote about Jon Hernandez of Casa de Masa’s tamales at Duncan Switch street market. Thanks to her article, Jon sold out of tamales before the market. He had 47 dozen pre-orders because of the feature in Focus!

Even before COVID-19 smaller papers were struggling

The National News Alliance notes “the free and diverse press — particularly local press—is the backbone of a healthy and vibrant democracy”. But the control of access to trustworthy news online has become centralized by just two platforms. The Pew Research Center reported that the majority of Americans access news through only two platforms – Facebook and Google -noting that “Facebook outstrips all other social media sites as a source of news.” Talk about “Fake News!”

I see more “fake” ads on Facebook than I can even talk about. Everything from backyard spas for $119 to shoes for $29 … and postings about people who ordered and never got the merchandise. And News?? Many of the people posting political information didn’t even get it from one of the major “partisan” – yes, I said partisan – television cable networks.

Recent market reports also indicate that these same companies control the vast majority of online referrals for news and the bulk of digital advertising revenue, while revenue for news publishers has plummeted by $31 billion since 2006. The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act – also known as the Safe Harbor bill – creates a temporary safe harbor for news publishers to band together to negotiate with online platforms to improve and protect Americans’ access to quality, trustworthy sources of news online. The Alliance urges everyone who does not want to lose their local paper to contact their member of Congress to sponsor the Safe Harbor bill.

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Another prominent organization working with newspapers, the National Newspaper Association, forwarded us a recent Op-ed by Patrick J Wood, Publisher of the Wisconsin Rapids City Times. He explained it pretty well.

Part of Patrick J. Wood’s editorial read:

“It’s no secret that newspapers have been attacked on all sides: The tech giants (Facebook, Google) co-opted our local news content and related audiences, redistributing our content without reimbursing us for it. Amazon and other web-based firms usurped large retail store channels and devastated their revenues. And the pandemic has temporarily or permanently closed many small- and medium-sized businesses that relied heavily on newspapers to bring customers into their stores.

This retail smack-down has forced newspapers to adapt or die. Our adaptation effort has included asking key suppliers for a temporary rate cut to help us survive the pandemic. All of our suppliers have partnered with us in this effort, understanding that by helping us to survive, they insured their own future financial health.

Focus Daily News faces similar problems and we need our loyal readers and residents of local communities to support us as well. And let us know what you want to read in your local paper. We are here to serve YOU!

Marlon Hanson, Publisher of Focus Daily News and my boss said “We have lost 70-80% of our revenue since March due to many major advertisers canceling their inserts and in-paper ads. We have had to go online-only for many of our daily editions.”

Fortunately there have been no layoffs and FDN continues to distribute the Sunday paper as we have in the past to all newsstands and print subscribers.

Supporting Local Businesses Is Our Mission

At the same time, we have increased our coverage of local businesses as much as possible. Initially, we may become discouraged when we see some of those we have covered going to outside media to advertise when we have tried to help them as much as possible with articles and photos.

But, in retrospect, something Hanson was told many years ago when he was young and had a part time job in a New York hamburger joint. When someone would come in and complain about some other similar operation, employees would think to themselves “Luckily that’s not us.” A very wise area manager related that when there was a problem elsewhere, with quality, with an employee, or anything else they should be let that operation know they have a problem so they can fix it.

Why? Because we are a similar operation, even if not the same, he was told. “All too often, everyone in an industry is painted with a similar brush. We want everyone in our industry to succeed.”

Support Your Local Media, They Are The Heart Of Your Community

It’s that way in the news business as well. Local papers everywhere have been going out of business. Even large papers are cutting back significantly. Every paper needs support or you will no longer have many different and varying voices to inform you.

There will be no paper to warn you if a sewage treatment plant is trying to open just down the street from your house or your taxes are about to double. You need that voice!
Solution? For us at least.

Well, here is what I am asking all our dear readers to do because I like reading the paper everyday myself and finding out what is going on in community so I bet you do too.

Subscribe & Share

You can subscribe to FDN’s online subscription at a rate of $10 per year – a rate so low we’ve never done it before and aren’t sure how long we will continue to offer it.

It won’t just help us, it will help you as well because your lifeline of local news will be assured of continuing. We also have published a pretty cool lifestyle section and auto section prior to COVID-19 eating into everyone’s life. Of course, we hope to bring them back as soon as this nightmare is over.

“What we ask here is for everyone to help, not through charity, but through reading, subscribing and advertising to any degree you are able,” Hanson concluded. It takes all of us to succeed and, together, we will!

To Subscribe for a full year for only $10 go to www.focusdailynews.com. Scroll down to the subscribe button … It’s quick and easy!! Other ways to support us include liking our Facebook page, following us on Twitter and Instagram. We love it when you share our content, and it encourages us to work harder for YOU. And if you have a tip, good news to share or something you want us to look into email us [email protected]

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