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  • Jim Townsend

Please Consider Supporting Local Journalism in Our Community

It is that time again. That uncomfortable time, for me at least, where I put out a plea for your financial support of The Portland Beacon.

The Beacon is not your typical news site. It cannot survive on advertising dollars alone. While I do sincerely appreciate and need our local advertisers, I know that they have numerous other options in today’s digital world. In a community the size of Portland, The Beacon needs a combination of local advertising and reader contributions to survive and grow. This is the new model of local journalism in many communities.

The evolution of the greater news industry over the last couple of decades, especially in towns the size of Portland, has caused established print publications to evolve into something that seems to rarely cover true local news. Instead they seem to be increasingly using a template where they repackage content that isn’t really local, but they label it with a familiar local name, and sell advertising to larger advertisers who want their message in several towns at the same time.

Large media companies are buying out small newspapers and local news itself is often left out of the equation. From a business perspective, I completely understand this. It makes sense. Sort of like how mass production and the assembly line changed the way cars were made. With the evolution of news and technology, their new model is the best way to help their bottom line. Meanwhile real local news is often ignored.

Since I started The Portland Beacon back in August of 2017, I feel it has been incredibly successful in sharing local news and events with Portlanders near and far. Just this week I received a kind email from a Portland couple who will be in Florida for the next four months stating how The Beacon helps them stay connected to what was going on in Portland.

The kind words and encouragement from readers has been fantastic, and I do appreciate them. But kind words don’t pay the bills.

If you are interested in contributing, I thank you. You can get more information on how to do so by check or by PayPal at

If you are interested in sponsoring content on a specific topic, organization, business, or even a team, I would be happy to speak with you about options. You can reach me at 517-526-4696 or

If you are interested volunteering your time to write about a topic that you think our community needs to know more about, I would love to speak with you. I know first-hand that it isn’t easy for most people to write these stories, but I have seen some non-profit board members and hockey moms write some pretty awesome pieces.

By no means do I want to mislead anyone into thinking The Portland Beacon is a charity because it isn’t. It is a for-profit business. Contributions are not tax deductible. But this unique business model depends on both advertisers and readers to survive. We need your support to keep this local news source going in our community.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you for your continued support of The Portland Beacon.

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