• The Spotlight
  • Posts
  • Now is your chance to give Stow, Munroe Falls and Silver Lake a truly local news source

Now is your chance to give Stow, Munroe Falls and Silver Lake a truly local news source

It’s no secret that big national newspaper chains don’t care about local communities. That’s why they’ve gutted local coverage, cut their newsrooms to the bone and increased subscription rates.

The Spotlight is based on the simple premise that people in Stow, Munroe Falls and Silver Lake want their local news to be local.

Earlier this year we asked you what you want us to cover. You told us: schools, town government, local businesses and things to do around town.

Then we asked you what to call this publication. You nominated a bunch of great options, and then you voted. So here we are. The Spotlight. This is your local news source.

Since launching Aug. 2, we've published weekly roundups of every high school sport. We've gone to city and village council meetings to find out how officials are spending your taxes. We're keeping tabs on small businesses and all the events that make our community vibrant and interesting.

So far, we’ve done all this with the support of one local business and one donor. Brandon Heating and Air Conditioning graciously became our sole launch sponsor because they believe local journalism is vital to a thriving community. And a former Kent State journalism professor wrote us a $1,000 check to help us get this rolling.

But that money is running out quickly. We need at least $6,000/month to make this financially sustainable.

No sense sugarcoating it: Today we’re asking you if you want us to keep doing this.

At $10/month for subscriptions, we need pretty much everyone reading this to subscribe. We figure not everybody will. And some people can’t afford it, which is why we give free subscriptions to everyone who needs one.

So it comes down to you. Do you want The Spotlight to be a thing? Should Stow/Munroe Falls/Silver Lake have a strong source for local news run by local people? Or should we let this die off?

I’ll tell you right now that Tom and I are in it for the long haul. Local news is so, so important for a functioning society. As we’ve seen in Portage County, local news can bring people together, boost local businesses, increase civic participation, stimulate good discussions, hold elected officials accountable and provide a sense that we’re all breathing the same air. We gotta look out for each other — but that means seeing each other. That’s what good, independent local journalism can offer. A mirror. A lifeline. A connection.

It’s what we have offered so far. It's what we want to keep doing.

By subscribing, you’ll not only make sure The Spotlight continues to exist. You’ll also get access to all our news stories and to our Mailbox feature, which is like a letters to the editor section but better. We'll add more features for paid subscribers as we grow, much like we have at The Portager.

So, ready to do this?

Here are some more things you should know

The checkout page will say The Portager. That's normal.

When you click on the “Get Access” button on our upgrade page, it will take you to a checkout page on a checkout.stripe.com domain. It’ll say "Subscribe to Stow-Munroe Falls News" and include The Portager logo. All of this is correct. We’re using the same secure e-commerce platform we use to run The Portager.

If you can’t afford $10/month, you can still get access.

Just write to [email protected] and ask for a free subscription. We’ll give you a special link that gives you free access forever. There’s no means test or anything, and we will approve 100% of requests, no questions asked. Not sure if you qualify? Well, if you have to think about whether $10 fits into your budget, then you qualify. You can always get a paid subscription later if your circumstances change. We believe everyone should have access to local news, regardless of your income.

If you can afford to pay more than $10/month, you can help subsidize those who can’t.

Just create a regular subscription and then send a check in whatever amount you wish, made out to The Portager, with The Spotlight in the memo. Mail it to The Portager, 3583 Randolph Road, Mogadore, OH 44260.

Can’t afford to pay $10/month but want to make a one-time contribution?

That’s OK, too. Just make out a check to The Portager, with The Spotlight in the memo. Mail it to The Portager, 3583 Randolph Road, Mogadore, OH 44260. And let us know you've done this so we can apply a free subscription to your account.

If you already subscribe to The Portager, we’re offering a discount.

This discount applies only to those Portager subscribers who pay the full $17/month or $180/year. If you qualify, send an email to [email protected]. We’ll give you a special link that will get you Spotlight access for $4.50/month or $49.50/year. Again, this is only if you can afford the extra cost. If you genuinely can't, just request a free account.