Urban Milwaukee Announces Crowdfunding Drive
Free online daily seeks support from readers to take publication to the next level.
Urban Milwaukee today announced it is launching a crowdfunding drive for $20,000 to expand and enhance the publication.
“This campaign will take Urban Milwaukee to the next level,” notes Urban Milwaukee president Jeramey Jannene. “Your donation will help us develop new features to make our site a must-visit for more than just news. We want to build the city’s first interactive political contribution tracker as well as the first interactive and comprehensive presentation of city data — reported down to the neighborhood and even block level — including crime data and city licenses, permits and complaints that are for all practical purposes inaccessible to the general public. In addition, we plan to create a uniquely comprehensive dining guide and an enhanced calendar of events.”
From its founding in 2008, Urban Milwaukee’s mission has been to champion the city and urban solutions and promote debate through in-depth articles and data analysis. When veteran journalist Bruce Murphy came aboard as editor in May, 2012, Urban Milwaukee went from a small, niche site to an award-winning, online daily that’s increased traffic by more than 1,500 percent in just three years.
“Our growth has been phenomenal,” says Urban Milwaukee publisher Dave Reid. “We’ve grown to the point where we now publish 40 news stories and 50 press releases per week, and that’s great, but we need more resources to continue that growth. We want to expand further, both in the depth and the data we provide readers, but ultimately in the number of stories published as well. And that will take additional funding.”
“We are a free publication,” Jannene notes, “and we want to remain free, because that means more readers, more people served, more dialogue between people, more impact on the community. But that also means less revenue and resources to grow our publication.”
“We know we have lots of loyal readers,” Jannene adds.”Many have read us for years. If every reader simply gave a contribution equal to the value they believe Urban Milwaukee has for them annually, we’re confident we’ll far exceed our funding goal of $20,000.”
Readers are seeing a revolution in the media as newspapers have lost classified ads, their main source of revenue, and younger readers reject print for online publications.
“We are seeing a meltdown of the traditional media,” Urban Milwaukee editor Bruce Murphy says. “The news that Gannett is buying the Journal Media Group and its flagship Journal Sentinel is just the latest evidence of how traditional media are changing and shrinking. Meantime we’ve seen ever less coverage of the city by the mainstream media. We want to grow and help fill the gap in coverage, and this campaign will help us do that.”
Urban Milwaukee’s leaders have been planning this campaign for six months. “This is not a band-aid fix or short-term funding effort for Urban Milwaukee, but part of a well-considered strategy to beef up the publication and expand its reach on a long-term basis,” Jannene noted. “The new features we want to add will be constantly available and updated, generating continuing traffic on a 24/7 basis for the publication, which will increase our pageviews and resulting revenue, which in turn will enable us to pay for and publish more new stories. In short, any contribution you make will will pay dividends for readers for many years to come.”
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