Help the Red Deer Advocate continue its mission to provide trusted local news

At a time when more people than ever are relying on us to help them navigate the fear and uncertainty we’re all experiencing, we’re having to make choices that are heartwrenching for people driven to tell stories and make a difference.

Over the years I’ve worked in newspaper, I’ve heard many reasons for why people chose to become journalists. Some, because they wanted to tell the big stories; others, because they liked to write; and some, because they had a strong sense of right and wrong.

I became a reporter because for a girl from a small northern town, it seemed like a great way to travel the world and meet interesting people: I didn’t get the world travel I envisioned, but I’ve met so many fascinating and kind people who have enriched my life in countless ways.

While the reasons we became journalists were different, we all stayed because we realized what we did made a difference.

Many of those differences were small, like the little league photo that takes pride of place on the fridge. Some of them bigger, like the appeals for the food bank that drive people to make much needed donations.

And a few will have a long-term impact, like ensuring the hospital expansion in Red Deer got the focus it needed for various levels of government to pay attention. But all of them made a difference to someone’s life.

And while change has been a constant for our business and many others over the last few years, the COVID-19 virus and the resulting shutdowns are having a heartbreaking effect on our ability to tell the stories of our community and the people who like all of us at the Advocate call Red Deer and Central Alberta home.

At a time when more people than ever are relying on us to help them navigate the fear and uncertainty we’re all experiencing, we’re having to make choices that are heartwrenching for people driven to tell stories and make a difference.

We’ve always relied on local businesses to subsidize the cost of ensuring our community has a place to go when they need to know. Whether you prefer to pick up the latest edition of the paper or you access our website at all hours of the day and night to read Central Alberta’s most up-to-the-minute and comprehensive news site, we’ve always been there for you.

Over the past two weeks, with local businesses closing to keep us all safe, we no longer have the revenue source we’ve always relied on to support all the local jobs it takes to cover the news you’ve come to expect.

We’ve had to cut back hours and initiate job sharing so that the lifeline we provide for so many people to the outside world at this time can continue. The reductions are intended to help us get through to the other side of the pandemic. But we still need your help.

A subscription to the Red Deer Advocate is a way for community members to show that they support local journalism. We know that this crisis is impacting many people.

And, if you are one of the people who is hurting financially, and cannot subscribe now, I hope you’ll make a note to yourself to do that when things turn around for you. Additionally, we also appreciate any donation you would like to make.

We are not in community journalism because the pay and hours are good. We do what we do, we write, edit, help customers and deliver papers because we believe in the mission of keeping people informed with accurate, timely and compelling journalism.

Please, help us continue to do what we do best.

And please contact me at any time at mkemmis@reddeeradvocate.com.

Or email circulation@reddeeradvocate.com to subscribe or donate and support community journalism today.

Mary Kemmis is president of the Prairie division of Black Press Media and publisher of the Red Deer Advocate.

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