Symbolic subscription, you ask?
In this edition of Aylmer’s free, bilingual, weekly newspaper, there’s a message about our survey now underway across town. Its purpose? To gauge Aylmer’s enthusiasm for the newspaper -- and willingness to help it survive.
One of our cornerstones is to provide good local news to everyone. Distributing it free to every household means all residents have access to news of our community. Some households subscribe to all sorts of newspapers and magazines. Others, none at all. Yet both types of families do read the Bulletin, as was dramatically shown in a 2011 Leger Marketing readership survey.
Knowing that the Bulletin is so important across Aylmer gives the Bulletin’s two sister publishers the fortitude to continue with the free distribution of the paper, as expensive as it is, because of the necessity of professional, local information to a community. This is the only community newspaper left in Gatineau, and we have it here!
Today, everyone knows that printing, distributing, writing and researching -- and all the other expenses that go into a newspaper -- mean a financial struggle. The folks at the Bulletin are happy to continue working hard, but the world of publishing is changing. To determine how to pay for continued free distribution of the print edition, we have held some group discussions on possible funding methods. Your publishers are also studying how other newspapers are managing through this rocky time. Hundreds of papers have closed across Canada, usually leaving their communities with no trustable news sources at all.
Certainly, cutting free distribution via PubliSac is an option; turning to paid subscriptions (as the Bulletin was originally) is financially logical, but only as a means of getting a newspaper out -- and it breaks with our community values. Hence a blend of the two: symbolic subscriptions.
Readers are asked to consider purchasing a symbolic subscription at about $80 a year. This is the cost of a subscription for delivery by Canada Post (which is still available for anyone who wants it). However, households getting their paper delivered to their door by PubliSac are invited to call the office and purchase the symbolic subscription -- to keep their Bulletin alive. This funding will be used directly for publishing the paper and will ensure its continued delivery. Local businesses do their part by purchasing advertisements; they need our complete distribution coverage.
We know this is a leap, in today’s world. We are asking our readers to purchase something, altruistically, with no actual increase in service or goods! But we know that a good number of Aylmerites feel strongly about their newspaper, and share our values about the democratic function of complete-distribution.
Your team at the Bulletin is ready for readers to step up – call, stop by, email your help! Purchasing a symbolic subscription, or even making a donation, helps Aylmer, helps democracy and helps keep the Bulletin d’Aylmer thriving.