A year ago this week, we published our first issue as the new owners of the paper. The Gabber, which went dormant during the pandemic, had returned. It doesn’t seem like a year to us, but indeed it has been – the loan payments from those of you who helped us buy the paper start repayment this month.
While a lot has changed – from the staff (except for our editor), to the way we look, to where we work – one thing hasn’t, and that’s at the forefront of what we do and why we do it: You.
The Gabber is still here to serve the community.
In 2003, I showed up at the Gabber office, applying to freelance. Ken Reichart told me, “You’re going to lose your anonymity.” I all but laughed in his face; I’d grown up in Clearwater, where the weekly paper was essentially a driveway rag, and to me, a new Gulfportian, the Gabber differed little.
Eighteen years later, the joke’s on me. My husband and I bought the paper because Gulfport didn’t seem right without it. We knew it would be a rough road – who buys a newspaper? In a digital age? In a pandemic?
The community this paper serves came through for us, though. We asked for help, and you willingly gave it. We raised $8,000-ish on Indiegogo to resurrect the paper, and many of you offered loans or donations or, in the case of artists Ray Domingo and Monika Watson, donated art for an auction to benefit the paper. Your faith in the power of the Gabber kept us going through some pretty rough weeks. Even if we felt like we’d opened a proverbial vein and bled money into the paper for a few months, we knew our community would carry us through. And you did. You are.
The Fourth Estate is an integral part of this country’s political structure, but – unlike the three branches of government – the press is not obligated to be transparent. It’s our belief, however, that our readers should have more insight into how we operate.
With that in mind, here’s where your donations go:
$40 puts gas in our delivery van for one week.
$50 pays for a month’s worth of printer ink for our office computer.
$100 pays for a reporter to sit through city council meetings.
$400 pays for one week of paper delivery.
$500 pays our freelancers for one week or buys one newspaper box.
$600 pays for one page of production in the paper.
$2000 covers one week of printing expenses.
We love and need your donations. But, whether or not you donate, you can do us a huge favor by sharing this information with everyone who cares about the future of the paper. Read the article online at thegabber.com and share it on your social media platforms (@gabbernews on Facebook and Twitter.) Tell our advertisers you saw their ad in the Gabber so they know advertising with us works. Pick up your paper every week and make sure to check thegabber.com everyday, and subscribe to our newsletter (email me to get on the list).
Most importantly, remember this: After more than 50 years and four sets of owners, this paper remains your community resource, your voice and your friend. We’re here for you, just like you’ve always been here for us.