We’re trying something new for The Columbia Paper and columbiapaper.com.
You probably know that giant digital companies have grabbed much of the advertising that once allowed local newspapers to support themselves. For the last 13 years we’ve scrambled week-to-week to publish a newspaper and news website for Columbia County. It’s a privilege we cherish. But we need help to keep going.
To augment support for our local journalism, we are partnering with Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) to open a new charitable fund, The Columbia Paper Journalism Fund. Through it, donors can now make tax-deductible gifts to support The Columbia Paper’s reporting on topics important to each organization and all of us: education, economic development, the arts, the environment and health care.
The Columbia Paper, Inc. is a for-profit corporation and we plan to remain that way for the foreseeable future. BTCF is a non-profit organization and must comply with federal regulations. But this is a way that this newspaper and BTCF can work together in full compliance with the law.
The goal is to create a new revenue stream that helps support our reporting in and around Columbia County, with the newspaper maintaining editorial control of the paper and website, including all stories we publish, when we publish them and who will report and edit them. BTCF will administer the fund and ensure donations are used for their intended purposes. The strict separation of roles is spelled out in an agreement.
We hope to bring more comprehensive and in-depth coverage to our readers. We will follow the local news whatever it is. Political endorsements? Yes. But they will not be supported by The Columbia Paper Journalism Fund.
The Columbia Paper and columbiapaper.com are deeply grateful to Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and for the lead donor behind this fund, the Henry L. Kimelman Family Foundation, for their faith in this newspaper.
Parry Teasdale, Publisher and Editor
The Columbia Paper