Trying to keep the Sun Shining

I promised to tell a little bit of the story of the Klondike Sun’s near death experience if the editors here said it was okay. They did, so here goes.

It’s hard to keep small newspapers afloat these days. The Sun is in its 26th year now, and during the last year it’s begun to have trouble meeting its financial obligations.

Yes, even volunteer organizations have costs. There’s rent, utilities, part-time staff, bookkeeping, postage, replacement of aging equipment, software and supplies. None of that comes for free.

What is donated is the material that goes into the paper, the time it takes to distribute the papers to the stores and the time needed to get the subscriptions to the post office.

It’s a balancing act to remain just at the point where the debits and credits cancel each other out and the cash flow is strong enough to cover the bills. This year we fell off the balance beam and found ourselves behind in some vital areas, most significantly in paying our quite patient printer, the Yukon News.

When all of this suddenly came to a head in July, it was a case of having to find some cash quickly or fold the paper. We turned to crowdfunding on the Internet through a service called Go Fund Me. The response to our initial plea was quite amazing. Within two weeks we had raised the $5,500 needed to allow us to pay the bills and carry on.

Responses posted with the donations from Yarmouth, N.S. to Vancouver, B.C. included some of these heart-warming comments:

– Can’t imagine the Klondike without it.

– Moving to Dawson in October and I signed up for a subscription a couple weeks ago so that I can get to know the community before I get there. I look forward to receiving my first and subsequent copies. Thank you for providing a valuable service to a great community.

– Thank you so much for featuring our animal shelter’s articles over the past few years. We appreciate your support and wish you all the best!

– Over the years the Klondike Sun has reported on the comings and goings at the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre. We appreciate how you share our story and our success with your readership. Please accept our donation with our gratitude!

– Much too valuable and eclectic a publication to let disappear. What would the Yukon be without it?

– Thanks to all the Klondike Sun volunteers over the years. (Note: that’s a large number of people that would fill a whole newspaper page in small print.)

– Good luck – I don’t want to live in a world where I can’t read my Klondike Sun!

– The JJJ, Klondike Spirit and Tombstone Outfitters love The Klondike Sun! It would be a sad day to not have our local newspaper. Keep it going.

– MEADIAsolutions supports the Klondike Sun.

So the Klondike Sun was saved to reorganize (during a two-issue hiatus) and shine again in late September.

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