There’s one piece of feedback that Peterborough Currents readers share with me repeatedly. They want to hear from us more often.
Over the last few years, our readers have come to trust us as a vital source of news that helps them understand their city and connect with their neighbours.
“I love how Peterborough Currents gives a voice to important and diverse issues and communities,” one of our supporters, Peter Yu, wrote to me recently. “This keeps our elected officials on track and also connects people to build community.”
It’s humbling for us to hear feedback like this. So when readers tell us they want more, we want to deliver.
That’s why we’ve set a goal to transition from a biweekly schedule to a weekly one this fall.
By going weekly, Peterborough Currents will be able to serve the community better. We’ll also reach a bigger audience and grow the business so we can keep investing in local journalism.
So I’m excited. But I’m also scared.
We’re making this commitment to double our output, but we haven’t doubled our resources. Far from it. We don’t even have the revenue to fully fund our current level of output. From the very beginning, Currents has relied on unpaid labour from me and, earlier, my co-founder Ayesha Barmania. We do this because we love it, but that’s not sustainable in the long run.
I know one of the biggest threats facing Peterborough Currents is burnout. So it feels risky to plan an expansion. But don’t all good ideas seem risky at first? It certainly felt risky to launch Peterborough Currents in the spring of 2020.
And take a look at what’s happening in the Canadian news media industry. With Meta and Google moving to block local news coverage and many newsrooms continuing their downward spiral of cutbacks, it’s becoming harder and harder to find the kind of news our community needs to stay resilient.
In this context, it seems more important than ever to keep nurturing Peterborough Currents, a locally-owned journalism business that has shown promise.
I want to grow Currents. But I can’t in good conscience make the shift to a weekly schedule without boosting our revenue first.
So here’s the goal I’m setting: 40 new supporters. An increase of 20 percent.
With 40 new supporters, I’ll know that expanding to a weekly schedule isn’t reckless. I’ll know that the Peterborough community is behind us.