As community leaders, you most likely know some of the Gazette journalists who ask hard questions about key issues. Perhaps about your business. They live and work here and want what’s best for our future. And they have for 140 years.
“We’re not just looking back at where we’ve been for the last 140 years but also looking forward with the role we play in the community and the value that we bring by the questions we ask,” says Zack Kucharski, executive editor. “We’re there for the good times and bad.”
The flood of 2008. The 2020 derecho are tangible examples. “We spend a lot of our time on digital news sources but when all the power went out and people didn’t have cell phone service, people didn’t know where to get food or other services. We were working with the City and printing flyers to hand out to people so they knew where to go to get help. What’s old is new again, the old flyer, but The Gazette was there.”
Don’t take local media for granted. Recent research conducted by Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, shows that in communities without a strong print or digital news organization, voter participation declines and corruption increases. This can contribute to the spread of misinformation, political polarization and reduced trust in media.
Good local reporting isn’t free. “It’s very costly to gather and provide the information we provide on a daily basis and all the products we produce,” adds Kelly Homewood, president at The Gazette. “Subscriptions are first and foremost but we offer many sponsorship programs via print, online and special events.”
Throughout the year, The Gazette presents community engagement events including:
- Iowa Ideas, an annual virtual conference designed to gather Iowans from all perspectives to explore, discuss and offer solutions on issues impacting the state
- Pints and Politics, featuring a panel of Gazette reporters exploring key political issues in our community
- HER Speak Up!, an event celebrating female entrepreneurs
- Business Breakfasts, bringing together leaders from our community
And that’s just the short list. On a daily basis, The Gazette publishes staff editorials as well as those from local citizens engaging conversation around key issues facing our community, state and nation.
Supporting non-profit organizations is another key initiative. The Gazette Gives Back program has proudly awarded $3.9 million in in-kind advertising to more than 140 non-profits since 2015.
Homewood believes our community wouldn’t be as strong if The Gazette wasn’t here. “Strong socio-economic development in communities is built on local reporting and we can only do that with the support of subscriptions, advertising and sponsorships. Businesses and citizens have access to local reporters to reach out to agree or disagree. We have very talented and experienced journalists on our staff. The value to our community is immeasurable. We want to be here for a lot more years so we look to the support of the community.”
You can help be a part of this invaluable asset in the Eastern Iowa Corridor. Don’t take it for granted. If you miss a day, you miss a lot.