Since The Columbian is a family-owned small business, I don’t have some corporate vice president for news telling me what to do all of the time. So I try to keep up on the trends in our industry.
One of the latest is to create different products that provide extra value for subscribers — the people who pay to support local journalism. If you are one of these people, thank you very, very much. I hope I am not being melodramatic, but without The Columbian, Clark County would be just another Portland suburb that only gets a mention when there is a shooting.
Various news organizations are trying to reach and reward their subscribers in various ways. In-person events were becoming popular before the pandemic put a stop to them. We want to do more of these when it’s safer. We’ve held an annual economic forecast event for years, and in February 2020 we packed the community room at the Vancouver Community Library for a forum after we published a series about a local family caught up in U.S. immigration policy.
Another idea is to give subscribers access to exclusive content. We’ve begun doing this, designating a story every day that can’t be read on our website unless you have a subscription.
Our next project is a Subscriber Exclusives newsletter that will contain previews and links to these premium content stories. The newsletter will be published on Tuesday mornings. Sign up now at our newsletters page, www.columbian.com/newsletters.