Sometimes, at Price Cutter, HyVee or at other local grocery stores, I happen across someone offering free samples of a new product: pizza, cheese, etc. Often, if you sample, they offer a coupon or discount if you are ready to buy.
Likewise, I occasionally get an offer for a free preview weekend of premium TV channels. Or a free spoonful of ice cream or even a free taste of a new beer at a local brewpub.
Giving people a free sample is a time-honored marketing strategy — but eventually, people need to see the value and be willing to pay for what they are getting.
So it is with the Springfield Daily Citizen.
For these past four months, we have been giving people a free sample of the Daily Citizen. I want to thank you for being a reader and I hope you are enjoying our unique blend of in-depth reports and stories providing a daily slice of Springfield life.
A substantial number of you — much more than we anticipated, in fact — have already chosen to support high-quality local journalism with a subscription to the Daily Citizen, giving them unlimited access to our content.
Starting Monday, nonsubscribers will find that we will begin limiting free access to most of our stories.
If you have not made up your mind, you will be able to continue to sample. But you will be increasingly reminded that our news will not be free forever.
Here is how it will work:
- First, if you have not already, you will need to register on the site by providing an email address to continue reading. Registration is free and gives you the option to receive our free newsletters.
- We encourage you to set a password once you’ve registered — that’s the easiest way for you to secure your account, and to use it on multiple devices.
- After you’ve registered, you will initially be able to read five articles in a month for free, and then you will need to subscribe to read most of our content. Over time, the number of free articles will be reduced.
- Our monthly subscription rate won’t change — it will stay $9.99 — and you can get a discounted price for paying a year in advance. Currently, we have a special trial offer of $79.99 for a full year, but that rate only will be available for a short time.
We believe news worth publishing — news you can use, and news you can trust — is news worth paying for.
Our annual budget is roughly $1 million, and about 70 percent of that goes to pay for staff and other contributors who are helping us reinvent local news by telling the stories of our community in an impartial way.
One of the reasons we exist is because of the decline in traditional for-profit media companies, who relied heavily on revenue from advertising to support their news coverage. As advertisers have found other avenues to reach consumers (social media, search engines, etc.), the lost revenue has led to drastic reductions in newsrooms across the country, including here in Springfield.
Our long-term financial model assumes substantial support from the users of our information, as well as continued support from local businesses and individuals who value what we do and the mission that we aim to fulfill in our community.
Our mission is to serve as a catalyst for good, inspiring citizens to take action on the issues that are important to them. Plus, we are helping readers connect to the community and discover the best of the Ozarks — arts, culture, food, and the great outdoors.
All that — and Steve Pokin columns, too — for $9.99 per month, or less for an annual subscription.
The staff of the Daily Citizen is working hard to earn your trust and to earn your support.
Please consider subscribing today to support important, high-quality journalism for the future of Springfield and Greene County.
David Stoeffler is the chief executive officer of the Springfield Daily Citizen.