Dear reader,

Community journalism — the type of journalism that the Hyde Park Herald has produced, uninterrupted, for the past 138 years — needs your help. 

It probably won’t come as a surprise to hear, but the economic model that has supported newspapers like ours has been dying for the past decade, and the current pandemic has only expedited the process. The Herald is one of the last remaining newspapers in the city that is committed to on-the-ground, neighborhood reporting, the kind of journalism that keeps you up to date on everything from the Obama Presidential Center and nearby bridge repairs to up-and-coming artists and Local School Council elections. 

As the new publisher, I’m writing to tell you that the Herald is committed to continuing to serve this community. But we can’t do it without your support. 

Today, we’re launching a new subscription model.  We’re not putting up a paywall. We believe that journalism is a public good and we’re committed to trying to keep our content available to all community members. 

Here’s how it works: If you prefer to read our stories online or in the Evening Digest newsletter, please consider signing up for a digital subscription at $30/year. You'll help ensure our content remains free for everyone, and you'll receive access to a new, twice-monthly newsletter from Editor Christian Belanger, who will offer analysis of the news, take a deeper dive into a recent article or dig up stories from our archive. If you appreciate reading the news in print, please consider signing up for a print subscription at $40/year. You’ll get the paper delivered directly to your mailbox every week, and you’ll receive Christian’s newsletter. The website and Evening Digest will remain free for nonsubscribers. If you’re already a print subscriber and would like to get access to the newsletter, please log into your account and make sure we have your email.

The next year is going to be challenging. These changes alone won’t be the solution, but they move us in the right direction. We also plan to seek nonprofit status in 2021. We believe that transitioning to a nonprofit not only offers a more viable economic model, but also better reflects our mission to do local reporting. We’ve also entered into a partnership with the South Side Weekly, where I’ve served as Managing Director for the past two years. This summer, the Herald moved into the Weekly’s office in the Experimental Station, and we’ll be experimenting with ways of working together to better serve the South Side. 

If you’re not already a subscriber, please consider becoming one today. And if you’re already a print subscriber, please consider making a one-time or recurring donation below. Finally, if you want to discuss these changes, or have ideas about how to help save community journalism, give me a call: 773-358-3132. 


Jason Schumer


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