An online-only reader recently expressed dismay that he/she was not able to read the Town Crier online for free anymore. Previously, we had limited our online paywall to our archives, i.e., issues more than two months old. But now, even the current online issue is mostly behind our paywall.

I guess with all the appeals we’ve made for Memberships, we thought the message had gotten out that community newspapers everywhere have been shutting down because of a serious decrease in advertising revenue. 

But we remain convinced that advertising in your local newspaper — both ink-on-pulp and online — is by far the most focused means for businesses and organizations to reach the local market they seek to target. 

But these days we need help from our readers to continue serving our Hill community. You may recall that for eight months in 2017 we experimented with providing the Town Crier free-on-the-Hill. When that did not produce the needed increase in advertising, we tried a Membership model to raise the required revenue.

Happily, our Members have responded generously and the Town Crier continues to monitor the seven local public entities our readers do not have the time to monitor themselves. So, we reward our Members by eliminating the online paywall for them. 

Of course, you can still read the entire Town Crier by buying a copy weekly at Fairway or Village Markets, Idyllwild Pharmacy or the new Town Crier office. And you can read it for free at Idyllwild Library, both on paper and online, as soon as it reopens.

Becky and I take no money out of the Town Crier. We hope you understand that it is a simple matter of being able to meet the Town Crier’s expenses — payroll, printing, rent, insurance, telephone, online services, office supplies, gas and oil, etc.

By the way, the new, downsized Town Crier office next to the pharmacy is now physically open to the public — one masked person at a time, please. 

Mandy can help provide job printing, faxing, business cards and custom designs, classified ads, legal notices and service directory ads. She can also direct you to Lisa for display ads in the Town Crier (with and without photos), and advertising in the Explore Idyllwild Directory, the Explore Idyllwild Map and the Idyllwild Phone Book. We can also help you by phone at 951-659-2145.

And, once again, we sincerely thank and congratulate our Members, readers and advertising businesses and organizations for keeping a real newspaper serving our Hill community.