From the editor’s desk: Readers, supporters have the power to create quality News On the Web

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We have the numbers.

Northern Rhode Island News On the Web now gets more than 1,000 visitors every single day, putting up consistently solid readership figures for an effort of its kind.

I launched this site in 2018 with a belief that bringing traditional journalistic values to an online forum could fill a growing gap in quality local reporting, and it has proven true. As newsrooms shrink across the country, local papers are sold to far away corporations, and it becomes harder and harder to get actual reporters to our small towns, NRI NOW has provided an online alternative to traditional papers, bringing the news to the people.

While no news source is perfect, we strive every day to be accurate and transparent, be honest, build trust and bring integrity to a struggling profession. Advertising supports the coverage we offer, and it has also grown steadily.

But improvements and growth are still needed, and I’m writing today to let our readers and fans know that they can support those changes.

We need funding to grow our team of freelancers and offer more diverse coverage. And we need it to pay developers to fix problems with the website itself.

As I write this, we’re experiencing two major issues: our commenting function is down, and the dates are not displayed on articles.

Most of the time, I, as the publisher, am able to resolve such issues on my own, but it takes time away from what I want to be doing, which is bringing you the news. I want to be growing our team and expanding what we offer, not on the time-consuming task of coding. And a hired professional can likely address the small but significant problems on NRI NOW in less than an hour.

So today, I’m making an appeal that I try very hard not to make often, and asking you for support. I’m asking you to contribute to the mission of enhancing local news coverage by visiting our homepage – nrinow.news – and using the “donate” function on the right hand column (at the bottom of the page, below the stories, for those on a mobile device.)

No amount is too small, and every dollar received will go directly back to you in the form of better website quality and more independent news that directly affects your community.

If you can’t donate, but you appreciate what we’re doing, I’m asking you to get the word out. If you visit a business after reading about it here, tell them, “I saw it on NRI NOW.” When you can, support those who support us, and spend money with our growing group of advertisers.

On the subject of advertising, we want you to know that NRI NOW operates on the principle that there’s a difference between news and paid content – or something produced purely for the sake of making money for the publisher. While we are happy to support and promote local businesses and endeavors, we do not – and will never – sell our editorial content, or try to pass off a paid segment as “informing the public.”

We do not make decisions on what is or isn’t newsworthy based on how much someone pays us. That is what it means to be independent, but we need your help to remain that way.

To all those who have shared our stories, subscribed to our newsletter, advertised and donated in the past, we want to know that we not only appreciate you, but that we can’t exist without you.

Because at the end of the day, the quality of what any news source can offer is directly affected by the support received. We believe Northern Rhode Island deserves the very best, and want to spend more time telling your stories, keeping you informed about what’s happening at your schools and with your government, ensuring accuracy, and creating a publication that truly reflects your community.

NOW is the time to join us in that mission.

Sandy Seoane

Publisher & Founder, Northern Rhode Island News On the Web

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