An appeal to our readers

Jim, Jess and Chip at Niagara Falls.
Jim, Jess and Chip at Niagara Falls.

I’m proud to call Cheektowaga my home.  I grew up here, graduated from Cheektowaga Central, and now I’m raising my family here.

Late last year, I decided to start the Cheektowaga Chronicle because I thought the local media underserved our town.  Resources in local television newsrooms and the Buffalo News only bring them to town when big stories develop.  That’s not a jab at the excellent journalists in those newsrooms; it’s just the way it is.

The Cheektowaga Chronicle is always here to cover the news because we are Cheektowaga.  On average, the Chronicle publishes two or three news articles each day, not counting the daily police blotter.

Just over seven months since our launch, we are attracting thousands of readers to the site every day.

But reader interest isn’t enough to keep a news operation viable.  The internet is a fantastic tool for local independent publishers, but Google and Facebook have flipped the traditional news model upside down by monopolizing advertising dollars.  Also, our Internet advertising inventory is eroding due to a shift in our audience moving to mobile devices.

This is why we built a subscription paywall earlier this week asking for a small $3.25 a month or $29.99 a year after reading 10 articles .  After more than two decades of being trained to expect free access to nearly everything you want online, the idea of paying for a subscription won’t be palatable to many — even some people who use the site frequently.

We are local, and your subscription dollars do not go to an out–of-state corporation.  We believe Cheektowaga deserves its own, truly local news source — a publication that celebrates the great things happening in our community while also keeping tabs on our public institutions and tax dollars.  We hope that if you agree, you’ll consider becoming a subscriber.

Best Regards,

Jim Herr