The Sun is free to read, easy to access, and open to everyone
Voluntary contributions from readers keep the information flowing
By Andrew Harris
One of the main reasons you are reading this is because paywalls are not good for anyone, especially local news. A key part of our “mission,” is to provide open access to all readers. Limiting access to local information is akin to limiting access to sunlight. The news of the day in small town America is a vital service that has been marginalized so badly by profiteers. Sure we want to make a profit, but we want to earn it the old fashioned way.
A great place to promote your business
By providing open access to anyone, this site receives a lot of attention, making it a great place to advertise. For a small business like the Rosebush in Alfred NY, putting their weekly dinner specials on the Sun reaches about 125,000 eyeballs each week. According to restauranteur George Mickle, his partnership with our local news site has made a noticeable difference:
“We’ve seen a noticeable uptick, lots of new faces coming in the door, and we have lots of new social media followers. For less than eighty dollars a week, the Sun has made a real impact at the restaurant.”George Mickle, owner of the Rosebush in Alfred NY
News from veteran journalists like John Anderson and Michael T. Baldwin
The Editor of the Sun is John Anderson, a veteran journalist who has lived and worked through the entire transformation of media in small town America. Even though he’s working with Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs, teaching at St. Bonaventure, working with students in Alfred State and has a remote editor role in another state, he’s making sure we have a social media and online presence and a commitment to local news. John started as a sports editor in Wellsville, nine years covering all of Allegany County for the Olean Times Herald and was the regional editor, keeping the doors open at the now-closed Wellsville Daily Reporter, Hornell Tribune and Dansville Express. He won two national columnist of the year awards from Gannett and as editor of the Batavia Daily News, won the New York State Investigative Journalist of the Year award. His online and digital success continued with several publications in Texas and Louisiana. John has been in this business since floppy disks and watched as corporate raiders used the power of the internet to consolidate and nearly destroy local news. He can explain better than anyone why the Sun insists on being free to all readers:
“Writing for the Sun is very rewarding. As busy as I am with other work responsibilities, interacting with our readers who care about community journalism makes me want to sit down and write. Telling the stories and successes of our family, friends and neighbors used to be shared on the refrigerator. Now, it is shared on social media and word of mouth. The kind words humble us, we had no idea the difference the Sun is making. It is sad to see talented journalists posting stories on other sites have their work blocked by a hard-paywall. A hard paywall means you have to pay to read a single story, you don’t get three to five “free” stories a week or month. These stories are about an important issue or person. The main reason we are keeping the Sun free is our sponsors, advertisers and the individual contributions to the site. The second reason is, why charge someone to read when there are already ads on the site? The advertisers deserve to be seen by as many people as possible. That’s why it’s frustrating to see the once-local websites post six local stories in 30 days and demand you pay for a year subscription before you can read just one.”
Of course, running a start-up local news service isn’t free. While our advertisers keep the lights on, voluntary contributions from readers help keep the doors open. If you read the Sun on a regular basis, consider making a regular contribution of any amount. You can send via Paypal, Venmo, or good old US Postal Service. For those who consider this service a justified indentured servitude for Harris, Anderson, Baldwin, and the rest of the “news team:” You can help by sharing/reposting/forwarding this to someone more generous.
Send a check anytime to 3 Meadowbrook Court, Wellsville NY 14895
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Even if you refuse to be a voluntary contributor, thank you for reading. We work seven days a week to keep the community informed, entertained, and hopefully more connected to each other.
Just a reminder, the Sun regularly publishes “Letter to the Editor” from readers, press releases about local events, and we also welcome guest writers who wish to be part of the local conversation.
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