Keep it Free
Happy November, everyone! We hope you enjoy our Fifth Annual Veterans Issue. This year our celebration includes service of all kinds, not just military service. In these pages you will find stories about volunteers, civic-minded citizens who do not get paid for their service. Not all community service is technically “volunteer,” some of our most effective public servants get paid, although, their remuneration might hardly be called a living wage.
Take for example, our staff who bring you the Questa Del Rio News every single month. Although our part-time staff receive payment, in some cases it amounts to less than minimum wage. We all have other jobs that allow us to bring you this newspaper for free. That is the theme of our December Funraiser this year – “Keep it Free!”
When Lindsay Mapes, Malaquias Rael, Jr., and I decided to start a newspaper in the fall of 2017, I made a five-year commitment to the paper. In February 2023 we will celebrate our Fifth Anniversary, time for me to step down. It has been a great run and I am proud of the work we have done. We started the paper in the spirit of service to the community and that continues to be our purpose. We have done everything possible to support the community and its many diverse members and we greatly appreciate the support we have received in return. If you are one of the countless individuals, businesses, agencies, governments, or organizations whom this newsroom has been supported by and benefited from, I urge you to show the same support for your newspaper. Many of our readers take us for granted and do not know what it takes to keep this paper alive. We are an example of community supported media, and we depend on you to keep going.
We know that you can get news for free online, and we thank you for reading our newspaper. Unlike the internet, local news is the most reliable, trustworthy and the most accurate of news sources. And communities with their own newspapers have more civic engagement, higher voter turnout, and less corruption than those without local news. These are just a few of the proven advantages of hometown media. The other less tangible qualities revolve around connecting people and keeping the community united.
If you believe our paper benefits the community, please support us by buying subscriptions and making tax-deductible donations. You can support the newspaper by advertising in our print edition and on our website. If you donate between November 29 and December 31, your gift will be double, triple or possibly even quadruple matched! We are asking for sponsors for our 2022 December Funraiser. The New Mexico Local News Fund will match your donation up to $3K and we invite more sponsors to make additional matches. Our December Funraiser last year earned $10,000, enough to pay writers and help us grow our online presence. With your pledge of support, we can aim for a goal of $15K, $20K, or even more.
When I retire I hope to leave the newspaper in a strong position – in good shape financially with a stable foundation. We are looking for a new editor or co-editors to take Questa Del Rio News to the next level. With the help of non-profit and corporate funders, we are confident we can offer a full-time position to someone with the right background. Experience with journalism, non-profits, fundraising, grant writing and management are pluses. We would love our new editor(s) to be a bi-lingual Spanish speaking familiar with the Questa area. That is our wish list. If this sounds like you or someone you know, let us hear from you!
Thank you everyone who has supported us over the last five years, and to our donors, big and small. For those who stepped up during our 2021 fundraiser, big thanks. If you would like to volunteer, we could use your help. We believe we have nourished our communities of northern Taos County and we hope that our readership will continue to nourish us. May gratitude and service be our collective November theme. We love you all!
Thank you for supporting local news,
Lou McCall, Founding Editor
Questa Del Rio News