We are now at a critical juncture, and we need your help to not only sustain what we do but to grow and expand that work.
This week we launched a new membership program for our most loyal readers. We’ll be offering non-paying readers a limited number of free articles each month, after which you will be asked to become a member in order to access our content, along with perks like our premium authored newsletters, merchandise discounts, invitations to events and chances to meet and talk with reporters.
This is not unlike other media subscription companies, such as Netflix or Hulu, that produce time-intensive, quality work—except the benefits of a membership to the Post go well beyond entertainment:
- When cities have strong local media, voter participation and civic engagement increase.
- When journalists, and by extension the public, ask informed questions, leaders are more attentive and effective.
- When journalists tell stories of those who would otherwise be ignored, the public gains a bigger sense of the world and their place in it.
This type of labor-intensive work has, unfortunately, become rare.
According to a study last year, more than 360 newspapers closed their doors between late 2019 and May 2022; the country is on track to lose a third of its newspapers by 2025. This has left roughly 70 million Americans—one-fifth of the population—without a source of local news. And of the papers that have survived, many have slashed staff and budgets to the point where reporters are doing little more than dictation and re-writing press releases.
That is certainly true of the Press-Telegram, once a massive operation with offices taking up almost an entire city block. Nearly a decade ago, a hedge fund bought the paper and has since whittled it down to a skeleton staff.
That is why a group of us, including longtime columnist Tim Grobaty, left the Press-Telegram in 2018 to join forces with the Long Beach Post. Under new ownership, we have grown our newsroom to 16 reporters and editors who punch above our weight, balancing both the urgency of breaking news with months-long investigations that go well beyond the talking points.
But without your buy-in, the kind of journalism that Long Beach deserves simply isn’t possible.
We know that you share our love for Long Beach, a city that is home to half a million residents, a seaport, an airport, a university and many important businesses and industries. Almost all of our staff lives here and strives to make this city better, both in our professional and personal lives.
We hope that you will join us, and become part of what we’ve built at the Long Beach Post. You can sign up at lbpost.com/join.