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A Letter From Our Editor

For a time, whenever the Observer would publish a story that annoyed some local tinpot power, as we do, we'd often get a certain bit of blowback.

"Why should I care what a FREE paper says?" Mr. Tinpot would sneer dismissively, as if our not collecting pocket change for our paper meant the truth inside was somehow less valuable.

That's nonsense, of course. Truth is priceless and, more important, true. "Free" is another word for "not bought and paid for," and that's how we like our newspapering.

Then ... the Internet. Silicon pirates scooped up the ad money but kept the free-news part. Sadly, reporters insist on eating, so the result here and elsewhere is what's being called a crisis in local news coverage, as in, if no one pays, who's going to sniff out all this priceless truth?

The Observer "I Support" membership campaign is our solution for how to maintain that level of quality journalism amid an international pandemic and a uniquely challenging digital advertising environment.

Those of you who make financial contributions will also have the option to hear from me now and then. Once you’ve contributed, an option will appear on your member profile page allowing you to opt-in to receive occasional letters regarding some of the Observer stories you’ve already read, as well as developments at the Observer itself.

Or you can do nothing. We'll still be free. Kick in, though, and you'll be part of the Observer family. That's right, family. We'll still annoy you sometimes, you might love us or hate us, but your contribution will help keep the enterprise rocking along. You know, like family.

Patrick Williams

Editor in Chief

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