In My Opinion: Community support is key to survival of Beach Metro News

Beach Metro News depends of the support of the community it serves. Inset photo: Desmond Brown is the volunteer president of the Beach Metro News Board of Directors.

By DESMOND BROWN

During this COVID-19 pandemic, our staff at Beach Metro News has done an outstanding job covering the news as it impacts our community. That’s the beauty of this publication. We cover stories through the lens of our community, delivering news that is insightful and pertinent to our readers.

Our editorial team has even broken stories that have gained international coverage, such as our fox family living under the Boardwalk. While the stories about the fox family have been a welcome distraction, the lockdown has led to high levels of unemployment, with many of our local businesses closing down.

We’ve also seen other community publications shuttered, such as the Beach-East York Beach Neighbourhood Voice and the Canadian Jewish News. We’re proud to say that Beach Metro News has worked through this crisis without making any cuts to our staff or content.

The Beach Metro News is a non-profit organization. We have a volunteer publisher and board, along with hundreds of other community volunteers. However, we do have many expenses such as a salaried staff, printing costs, and rent. We rely heavily on our advertisers for revenue. Unfortunately, with a significant number of our advertisers’ businesses suffering in this pandemic, there is a ripple effect on our revenue.

Three years ago, when I was asked to run for a volunteer board position on Beach Metro News, I jumped at the opportunity.

As a lifelong resident of the neighbourhood, I first read the publication as a teenager, then known as the Ward 9 News. When I joined the board, the paper was in big financial difficulty, losing money at a rate that, if it continued, would lead to the demise of the paper within five years.

Through creative advertising strategies, top quality editorial content, staff attrition, and a dedicated volunteer publisher and volunteer board of directors, we managed to turn things around and even showed a profit last year.

However, with the uncertainty of the length of this pandemic and lockdown, we’re not sure how long we can continue to maintain this current level of coverage.

Since 1972 our publication has been delivered to your door and made available for pick up at retail outlets for free. I want to sincerely thank all of our volunteers who have continued to distribute the paper and our retail partners who have made the paper available at their premises during this pandemic.

However, for the continuing survival of our wonderful publication, we need your help.

I’m asking you to please contribute an amount, be it big or small, that represents the worth of the Beach Metro News to you.

Please support our publication in the way that is most convenient for you. You can mail or drop off a cheque to Beach Metro News, 2196 Gerrard St. E., M4E 2C7  or go online to https://www.beachmetro.com/donations/subscribe-beach-metro-news/

I know you find value in Beach Metro News and encourage you to make a contribution.

Thank you!

Desmond Brown is the volunteer president of the Beach Metro News Board of Directors. He is a local realtor and former reporter with CTV News, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, and Toronto Star.


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