East Bay News
Berkeley Daily Planet makes plea to readers
BERKELEY, CA (KGO) -- The loss of one major advertiser can cripple a small town newspaper. The Berkeley Daily Planet is a perfect example of that, but that paper is appealing to its readers to stay in print.
Like many small town newspapers the Berkeley Daily Planet is part of this community's soul.
"It's really important to me to know how safe our communities are, what the crime is like," says Kiki Kinstlick, a Berkeley resident.
But lately, major advertisers, like The Elephant Pharmacy have gone under. This free bi-weekly newspaper has seen advertising revenue drop 30 percent and now it's on the ropes.
"What I get out of it is an understanding and awareness and analysis of development issues, which are really critical to our community," says Fred Dodsworth, a Berkeley resident.
"Development politics in Berkeley is basically much a blood sport, so I think that pretty well defines it," says Richard Brenneman, a Berkeley Daily Planet reporter.
Often times Brenneman says he is the only reporter at the planning and zoning meetings.
"Everyone says blogs are so wonderful and they'll replace newspapers, but pretty much people who read one set of blogs don't read the other set of blogs," says Brenneman.
The Planet recently published a full front page asking for donations. Readers sent in $12,000 in the first two weeks, but it costs about $700,000 a year to run the paper. Millionaire, publisher, and owner Mike O'Malley would like to simply break even, so he's now exploring the creation of a non-profit paper, but like many dying newspapers, they're still searching for a successful business model.
"So we don't know where this is going?" asked ABC7's Alan Wang.
"No we don't know. That's what we're trying to find out. It really is an experiment," said Mike O'Mallley, the Berkeley Daily Planet publisher.
Other small town papers are considering public ownership, but so far, there's no good plan to stop the hemorrhaging.
east bay news, alan wang
- Family: Children's Hospital calls girl 'dead'
- BART Board president wants to ban transit strikes
- Dozens hurt after London theater partially collapsed
- 'Duck Dynasty' fans react to Robertson's hiatus
- San Jose charity 3,000 short of toy distribution goal 3 min ago
- 'Wonder Girl' cancer patient is inspiration for Vallejo
- Report says bullying of American-Islamic kids on rise
- 1 dead, dozens hurt in California bus crashes
- Seismic saddles in place on new Bay Bridge
- Only On 7: Sneak peek at the SF Zoo's baby gorilla
- abcnews: Dennis Rodman does karaoke in NKorea
- Bay Area New Year's Eve fireworks and events
- roundup: Toy drive in need; Timeshare sales scam
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Friday
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos