The Carlisle Mosquito, a free nonprofit weekly newspaper that has long stood as an example of how a community can take care of its own news and information needs, is in trouble. “We need at least $125 — at least $10 a month — from every household in town,” says a front-page editorial. “And we need those who can afford to give more to do so.”
The Mosquito spends about $44,000 a year on print and distribution, which adds up to about a fifth of its annual budget. “Ad revenues,” the editorial says, “have been declining for years.” I’m not sure why they’ve stuck with print, but they know their community better than I do. The editorial says that the paper’s top editors earn just $15,000 to $25,000 for what I have to assume are part-time positions.
I hope the Mosquito, which serves a wealthy rural community of about 5,000, can find a way forward. If it can’t, maybe The Concord Bridge, a well-funded nonprofit digital and print hybrid that was recently launched in a neighboring community, can provide some coverage.