It’s been a tough year for the Bay Journal, and journalism in general. Around the world, the free press has been taking a beating. Our year started with the repercussions from an attempt by a political appointee — now gone from that position — to ax some of our funding because he didn’t like what we wrote.

But for us, the year is ending on a high note. Our readership increased dramatically — more than 3,100 new readers in just the first nine months. And, we had an overwhelming response to the reader survey we conducted. We were delighted to learn that 72 percent of the nearly 4,000 respondents use the Bay Journal to inform conversations with others; 54 percent have adjusted their personal actions based on what they read; 22 percent have contacted an elected official about related topics; and 16 percent had volunteered for an event listed in our pages.

But we have more to do. We know from our survey that our readers want more than just the news — they want to learn about the Bay and its watershed. We’re planning more reports that will help explain the region’s ecosystem and put environmental news in context.

To further our commitment to fact-based journalism, we’re planning to create a Science Advisory Committee. We want to make sure that we are regularly tapping into some of the region’s best scientific minds and continually seeking feedback on our reporting. 

This is part of a sustained effort to continue increasing our readership. At the end of October, our board adopted a goal to double our monthly readership to 200,000 in coming years. Achieving this will not only help create a more informed and engaged public, but also ensure a stable future for the Bay Journal — because readers like you make our work possible. Donations are increasing, and a third of the people who donated this year had never done so before.

But we are intent on keeping the Bay Journal free. We understand that not everyone can give financially; many of our readers are on fixed incomes. But they still give to the region through their actions. We strive to keep costs low so everyone can still get the Bay Journal — because every reader matters.

We’ll be setting other goals in the future, including one to increase our presence in schools to help inform the next generation of citizens, scientists and decision makers about regional  conservation issues.

You can help us achieve our goals:

  • If you haven’t yet made a donation, or are able to give an additional donation, please consider contributing when you receive our end-of-year letter.
  • Help us to increase our reach. When you’re done with your Bay Journal, pass it on to introduce us to new readers.
  • If you represent an organization whose members would benefit from the Bay Journal, consider allowing us to mail a one-time sample issue to introduce them to the paper.

Thank you for your support this year, and we are looking forward to a brighter 2019.