Mike Rhodes

From the Editor

Having a newspaper to communicate the stories about what is going on in this community is an essential foundation if we are going to make changes that bring about peace, social and economic justice. Our experience shows us that we can’t rely on corporate media, which is locked into making a profit and has ties too close to the powers that be to tell us about the heroes in this area working to bring about a better world. Mainstream media will not challenge the power structure. It takes an independent/alternative newspaper such as the Community Alliance, responsible only to you the readers, to tell the truth and help build a progressive movement for social change.

The challenge of building and maintaining alternative/independent media is illustrated in the article on page 3 about The Undercurrent, which ended publication last summer due to financial difficulties. The Undercurrent was a great newspaper that reached out to Fresno residents, celebrating the arts, music and culture in this community. The fact that it no longer exists should concern you and illustrate the need for your financial support to keep the “free press” alive. Although the Community Alliance is “free,” we do have to pay for the printing, mailing, layout/design and lots of other things. It is your subscription, your donations and your advertising that keep us alive.

Amid the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression and the collapse of Fresno’s other alternative/independent newspaper, somehow the Community Alliance continues to grow. Next month, we will be placing 20 new newsstands in southeast Fresno to reach out to thousands of new readers. We set up a trial newsstand at a market at Ventura Avenue and 2nd Street, and the response has been phenomenal. We distribute about 150 copies a week there because this newspaper speaks to the interests and needs of the poor and working people in this community. We are also expanding with newsstands and additional coverage in Merced. We hope to do the same in Visalia.

Our growth is not being fueled by the rich and powerful in Fresno. They like business as usual, and they know that we are committed to a more just and equitable society. We will continue to advocate for the rights of the homeless, affordable healthcare for all, marriage equality and police accountability. Because we can’t count on those big bucks from corporate advertisers, we are asking you for your support.

If you are not yet a subscriber, please take a minute right now to clip the subscription form on page 6, fill it out, write us a check, and put it in the mail. If you already subscribe, then please consider an additional contribution to support this important work, because we simply can’t survive from subscriptions alone. The 20 newsstands that are going up in southwest Fresno were only made possible because of two generous donations from our supporters. Each newsstand costs about $100; it would be great if you could help us buy one more newsstand.

If you are the owner of a small business or provide professional services and you want to support the Community Alliance’s
progressive message, we are asking you to take out an ad in this newspaper. Ad rates are on page 21. Not only will you be supporting alternative/independent media, but we also expect you to get new customers as well. Our 10,000+ readers each month know and appreciate our advertisers.

Finally, if you are looking for that perfect holiday gift, please consider giving a gift subscription to a loved one. We will send them a letter announcing your gift. We are counting on you to keep the free press alive in Fresno and the Central Valley. We simply can’t do this without you.

  • Mike Rhodes is the executive director of theCommunity Alliance newspaper and author of the book Dispatches from the War Zone, about homelessness in Fresno. www.mikerhodes.us is his website. Contact him at mikerhodes@comcast.net.

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