2022 Impact Report

www.montereycountyweekly.com june 16-22, 2022 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 27 INSIDER Impact Report 2022 report to our insiders By Sara Rubin When the pandemic first forced us all to shelter in place, we here at the Weekly had to make some changes. We developed tools to produce our newspaper remotely; we started wearing masks to interviews; our distribution team navigated around closed businesses. We started a daily e-newsletter, Monterey County NOW, to bring our readers news of the day. We also did something new with our business model to adjust to a changed environment: We began a direct appeal to our readers, asking you for your financial support to help us fund our newsgathering mission. Two years in, we are happy to report that thanks to you, our readers, it is working. You have always been a critical part of our mission, and now you are also a critical part of our enterprise. I want to share with you some of the impacts of your investments. While this school year just ended, Mary Simon is already busy preparing for the next. Out of her house in Monterey, she’s been running a classroom supply store—where all the goods are free to teachers—since 2021. Over 70 new donors have made contributions to Simon’s project, called The Sandbox, since they read a feature story by Pam Marino in the Weekly that was published on May 12. “It’s been very fun, and so gratifying,” Simon says. This is the kind of impact that is incredibly gratifying to us, too. We are local journalists who are members of the same communities our readers live in, and every day we are reminded that it’s our readers who we serve. Part of what is so satisfying about journalism at the local scale is that we can see the impact our stories have. Associate Editor Tajha Chappellet-Lanier recently wrote about the thrilling first Shakespeare production by New Canon Theatre Company, and it sold out (I know because I couldn’t get in). After we reported on a bizarre lawsuit filed by Carmel Unified insider.montereycountyweekly.com impact report continued next page

28 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY JUNE 16-22, 2022 www.montereycountyweekly.com School District against a man for seeking public records, the district dropped the suit. After staff writer David Schmalz wrote a cover story in January about a long-stalled development project on a decrepit waterfront property on Cannery Row, some investors wrote in. “Thank you for taking on this convoluted story and making some sense of it even though it has brought up some ugly memories,” wrote one couple who were able to salvage things. A friend of theirs (and another early investor) had not been so lucky: “She and her husband lost quite a bit of money and relocated to Ohio. She said your timeline and legal discussion has helped her.” There is a special kind of gratification that comes to us as journalists with that feedback, knowing our work is making a tangible difference for people. It’s a bonus when we get recognition from professional colleagues as well, and we are proud to have been recognized last month with 12 California Journalism Awards for our work in 2021. I’m especially proud of two first-place recognitions we received. One is for our coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic. “The gold standard for this competition,” the judges wrote. “Nice reporting and writing throughout. Puts a face on the impact of Covid throughout all segments of society; obviously a tremendous amount of time and effort went into this, and it was well worth it.” The other is in the category of public service journalism, for our years-long effort to mobilize the community to take a stand against anti-Asian hate. “This is journalism in action,” the judges wrote. “By consistently beating the drum and shedding light on a divisive festival, this news organization helped make positive change. This was well-researched. Really solid, comprehensive journalism.” One of the things that I love about journalism on this scale is that all of us can make a difference. Election outcomes may be decided by a handful of votes, as was the case in the June 7 election in Del Rey Oaks, where the outcome of Measure B determines the future of a 28-mile regional trail network. The official vote tally as of June 14 shows the trail, known as FORTAG, surviving by just 15 votes, with a handful of provisional ballots left to count. There’s an opportunity to be heard at this level, and we strive to inspire our readers to make themselves heard. One reader recently wrote in to tell us that because of our coverage of the collapse of a would-be Homekey project in Pacific Grove, they are inspired to begin attending and speaking up at City Council meetings. That’s a brief recap. Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting local journalism. We are proud of the impact of the Weekly and Monterey County NOW, and we so appreciate your support. IMPACT REPORT continued 58,872 readers per week 41.2% average open rate 202,500 average monthly unique visitors NEWSLETTER WEBSITE 3,426 total number of Insiders INSIDER $9,715,183 total raised MONTEREY COUNTY GIVES! LOCAL & INDEPENDENT MEDIA WWW.MCWEEKLY.COM february 24-march 2, 2022 montereycountyweekly.com local & InDePenDent how the coloraDo fIre began 12 | mIke nesmIth’s estate 32 | black hIstory month, In Photos 33 Wishful thinking on Covid remains as dangerous as ever. p. 22 by gregg gonsalves masks off, masks on + the Data Is In: masks Do really work. Published by 2022-2023 Wedding GuideFREE Best of Monterey Bay® cover_WG22.indd 1 2/10/22 3:17 PM Best of Monterey Bay® Wedding Guide inside 30.3 average new subscribers/week $6,899,175 donations from individuals 7,540 total number of donors 250 Goal for new Insiders in June 2022 $120/year average contribution level may 12-18, 2022 montereycountyweekly.com local & InDePenDent ScoutIng for a buyer 12 | all’S faIr 30 | reStaurantS hIDDen In PlaIn SIght 40 A small group of NIMBYs in Del Rey Oaks want to derail one of the most exciting transportation projects for our community in decades. Help stop them and vote no on B. PluS, our endorsements in 10 other primary elections. p. 22 no on b Say yes to FORTAG, vote June 2-8, 2022 montereycountyweekly.com locAl & InDePenDent StuDent PIlotS tAke off 10 | SettlIng AfghAn refugeeS locAlly 19 | Ice creAm, I ScreAm 40 The UlTimaTe STay-CaTion Summertime meanS long, gloriouS dayS to pack in adventure. We built a 72-hour itinerary of outdoor fun. P. 22 20,323 average net circulation 2.7 readers per copy (CVC audit 3/31/22) 62.8% access via mobile phone 541,000 average monthly pageviews (Google analytics 6/1/21 - 5/31/22) 35,339 subscribers (MailChimp campaign report 5/1/22 - 5/31/22) (Campaign totals for 2021) MCGives! is a special project with Community Foundation for Monterey County and Monterey Peninsula Foundation LARGEST PRINT AUDIENCE IN THE MARKET WITHOUT A PAYWALL SINCE 1996 50% GREATER THAN THE INDUSTRY AVERAGE OVER $45 MILLION RAISED SINCE 2009 100% INCREASE IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS PRINT INSIDERS

www.montereycountyweekly.com june 16-22, 2022 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 29 First Place, Public Service Journalism First Place, Coverage of the Covid-19 Pandemic First Place, Coverage of Local Government First Place, Columns (“The Local Spin”) INSIDER 2021 California Journalism Awards 1st Monterey County Weekly editorial department (from left to right): Agata Pope¸da, Christopher Neely, David Schmalz, Daniel Dreifuss, Sara Rubin Dave Faries, Tajha Chappellet-Lanier, Pam Marino and Celia Jiménez. Second Place, General Excellence Second Place, Special Publication Second Place, Feature Story Second Place, Land-use Reporting Third Place, In-Depth Reporting Third Place, Enterprise News Story Fourth Place, Cover Layout and Design Fifth Place, Sports Feature Story First Place (Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles): Portrait Photography

30 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY june 16-22, 2022 www.montereycountyweekly.com Enhancing the impact of Monterey County Weekly and Monterey County NOW is a top priority for our company. As regular readers of Monterey County Weekly, we think you get it—the value of reliable local journalism is more important today than at any time in the recent past. Keeping you informed about the people, politics and culture of our community connects us, and that in turn enhances the place we call home. That journalism is also an expensive operation to fund. Over the past year-and-a-half we have grown our staff so that today we have the largest newsroom of any outlet in Monterey County. We have expanded our distribution channels via the Monterey County NOW newsletter, enhanced our technology to accommodate remote work, and still never missed a deadline. Alongside those changes in our editorial department, we have also made a permanent adjustment in our business model. Making sure the company succeeds as a business, not just a mission, is a responsibility we hold dear. In the current media landscape, direct financial support from readers is a vital part of a sustainable business model. It’s not charity, and we’re not begging our readers to contribute; it’s a connected relationship where the people who value local and independent journalism help underwrite the costs. And we are happy to report that this new model is working. About 3,400 of your friends and neighbors have opted to make a direct monthly contribution to the Weekly, joining a select group we call Weekly Insiders. Through the end of June, we are in the midst of a direct appeal to readers, asking you to join that group of Insiders. Since last Thursday, June 9, when we launched that appeal, 69 more people have joined, setting us well on our way toward our goal of 250 by the end of the month. If you are not yet one of them, and you value the paper, the newsletter and the website, this is our request for you to take action. If you are already an Insider, allow me to thank you again. Your support helps us deliver great journalism and maintain a successful business. —Erik Cushman, Publisher The New Model to Fund Journalism INSIDER Join us now Go online at insider.montereycountyweekly.com Or by mail: 668 Williams Ave. Seaside, CA 93955 Your contribution level: $500 $150 $50 $20 $15 $10 Other $_______ Contribution schedule: Monthly Annual One-time Name_________________________________________________________________________ Address_ ______________________________________________________________________ City, State_ ____________________________________________________________________ Email_ __________________________________ Phone________________________________ May we include your name in public acknowledgements? Yes How would you like your name to appear___________________________________________ No, I would prefer to be anonymous Payment: Credit card number_ ____________________________________________________________ Expiration date __________________________CVV code_ _____________________________ Name/Billing address (if different from above) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ For more info: linda@mcweekly.com (831) 394-5656 INSIDER “I can’t tell the Weekly staff how grateful I am for its superb reporting and commitment to local journalism, the Weekly has become our most reliable source of news and information about local politics, government, education, justice, and culture.” —John H., Seaside “I have greatly appreciated your work for years and for having benefitted freely from it. I am contributing a small amount now, quarterly, as a token of that appreciation.” —Adele N., Pacific Grove “Thank you for your contributions toward supporting an informed populace. I’m thankful to have both online and print versions.” —Nona C., Salinas