It’s been about a month since I launched my local news site, https://www.newbernpost.com, as a hobby and as a personal mission to keep a journalistic watch over local government since that responsibility has been shirked by the local corporate-owned news media, including the Sun Journal, where I was executive editor until last month.
I don’t post every day … early on, I posted once or twice a week. This week, it looks like I will be posting most days. But this is a hobby, a spare time thing, and I have a day job and other responsibilities.
Over the last two weeks of October, starting with the launch on Oct. 17, my site had 210 visitors, with 741 views for 16 posts. I had just started the Post’s Facebook page.
Today, following the first two weeks of November, my November numbers are 1,215 visitors, with 3,593 views for 21 posts.
My Facebook wall has 281 likes and 296 followers.
The audience numbers are nothing spectacular, but enough to lull me into thinking my time spent on it is worthwhile.
There are many more things I would like to do, but they are all of the scope that would require me to pay full attention to New Bern Post, which I can’t afford.
Meanwhile, a reader asked me if I would be selling advertising or subscriptions. My answer about advertising is, no. I don’t think I have the audience number to deliver value to an advertiser. As for subscriptions, I don’t want to restrict access to my site because I think it defeats the purpose of shining light on what local leaders are doing.
I would not turn away contributions from people who value my work, or sponsorships from businesses who think what I am doing brings value to the community. That’s why I am adding Paypal Subscribe (and Unsubscribe) buttons to the site. If you are a business owner and want to discuss sponsoring the Post, please email me.
I have already reached the point where I am turning away news tips and offers for help from other local journalists, because they would open a floodgate that would be hard to close unless New Bern Post was my full-time job.
I have, however, partnered with another one-person local news site that specializes in community news and events (Wendy Card’s amazing New Bern Now site, http://www.newbernnow.com), because I think our content is complementary. We run the other’s RSS feeds on our respective websites.
If I have accomplished nothing else, I did this: the Sun Journal has resumed coverage of local city meetings. I sat next to its reporter at Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, the first time I have seen a reporter from any local news service, including TV, radio and print, since I started this site a month ago.
It delighted me to see the Sun Journal back where it belongs, and to spend time with a former colleague who I respect and admire.