Free Press cofounders Reade and Martha Brower
Free Press cofounders Reade and Martha Brower
Dear Readers,

May 17, 1985, was the first issue date of The Free Press. It was founded on the premise that the midcoast community needed and would support a free community newspaper that was advertiser-driven and provided readers with a complete calendar of events, shopping and restaurant deals, and features that would interest the general public.

Over the years, readers have asked how they could help The Free Press stay sustainable. Our pat answer has been to support our business partners whose advertising keeps our paper coming to you. Over the last 35 years, we’ve produced over 1,800 Free Presses off their backs.

Now, living in unprecedented times, we are reaching out to our readers and asking you to consider a “fair share” gift or a subscription (or both). With businesses shuttered due to the pandemic and COVID-19, many advertisers are not open and cannot advertise. Revenues are down 40 percent.

Over the years, recently retired Publisher Alice McFadden had a deserved reputation for excellence. Everything in her paper was vetted, well-written and she and her staff took pride in every page.

That excellence continues under Ethan Andrews and Wendell Greer as they continue to deliver weekly journalism that lives up to our past reputation.

So, how do you join our FAIR SHARE campaign and what is your “fair share”? That, my friends, is up to you. We could suggest certain levels of giving, but fair share is where your comfort lies. As a point of reference, it costs about 25 cents an issue to print The Free Press and another 35 cents for our journalism. The cost of printing for our 35-year run comes to about $500 per reader.

Consider, as we enter our 36th year, a recurring credit card payment of $3 per month or more ($36 annually) or a one-time payment of $35 that covers our costs. Consider, if you can, doubling that and paying it forward for someone not in a position to pay.

We are also offering annual subscriptions starting at a recurring level of $5 per month for those wanting to get The Free Press mailed to them every week.

Recently, our sister paper the Portland Press Herald was awarded a $100,000 grant from Facebook to help support their journalism. They were the only paper in Maine to receive this grant; small weekly papers need to continue to rely on their readers for support and understanding that without newspapers, accountability falters and communities suffer.

If you would like to become a Free Press FAIR SHARE supporter or a subscriber, see the options below.

The commitment to keep The Free Press “free,” while creating a sustainable model that allows for the journalism to continue, is not a new path for us. This might be a one-time or perhaps even an annual appeal, but understand that we were built to last, and The Free Press will continue to do our part as we enter the “new normal” together with our readers and our business partner-advertisers, who we thank from the bottom of our hearts for getting us through the first 35 years!

Monthly sponsorship

Sign up to contribute any amount per month to support The Free Press. Give $5 or more per month and we will mail you a copy of the paper every week. Give $10 or more per month and get a subscription to one of our affiliated weekly papers (The Courier-Gazette, Camden Herald or The Republican Journal).

Yearly subscription

Pay $52 in one shot and we’ll send you a copy of The Free Press every week in the mail for a year.

Pay by credit card: (207) 596-0055 or visit our Online Subscription Portal.

Pay by check: The Free Press, P.O. Box 1076, Camden, ME 04843-1076