Sandpoint Reader

is creating an Alt-Weekly Newspaper

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Cub Reporter

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  • Receive one free Reader sticker!

Cub Reporter x2

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  • Receive a free Reader sticker and a hand-written thank you note from Reader publisher Ben Olson!


per month
  • Receive a free Reader sticker and hand-written note from publisher Ben Olson!
  • Get your name or business published monthly in the Patreon thank you column.




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About Sandpoint Reader

In 2004, the Sandpoint Reader was first published by three 20-somethings who wanted to provide an alt-weekly voice to Sandpoint, Idaho. Thanks to the hard work of Zach Hagadone, John Reuter and Chris DeCleur, the Reader established itself as a voice of arts, entertainment, politics, humor and in-depth stories that a daily newspaper doesn't have the ability to publish.

In 2012, Zach and John were both offered jobs that took them out of Sandpoint and the Reader went out of publication. It was a dark and lonely time in Sandpoint. No one knew what the hell was going on, where it was happening, who was playing music.

Then, in January 2015, Ben Olson and Keokee Publishing banded together to bring the Reader back into publication. They hired on Cameron Rasmusson as editor and the irreverent alt-weekly was resurrected on January 29, 2015.

Almost 150 issues later, the Reader has firmly established itself again as one of the most read publications in Sandpoint. Offering commentary by the people, for the people, the Reader's strength is the fact that is it written by the community at large, with everybody pitching in to provide a new voice and a new way to get your news in Sandpoint. 

Bringing a newspaper back into print in this day and age is a risky gambit. As the Reader has been and always will be a free publication, the only money that we earn comes from our advertisers. While daily papers rely on a cash crop of legal notices and subscription revenue to keep the lights on, the Reader gets by because our advertisers know that our publication is picked up by a wide demographic of people.

We want to grow, Sandpoint. We want more investigative pieces, more in-depth features and profiles of important people in the region. We want to cover the unique politics of North Idaho and help inform our readers of what's happening both in their backyard and in their neighborhood.

This is where you come in. Every month or two, someone invariably walks into our shabby little office on Cedar St. and reminds us of why we do this. Why we grind 50 hours a week for little to no pay. They thank us for our hard work and write a check for a small sum of money. $50, $100. One beautiful man wrote us a check for $250 out of the clear blue sky.

Every time one of these angels walks into the office, I am always humbled by their generosity. I would like to thank them and give the check back, but the truth is, I need every dollar we can pull in, so I gladly accept their donation. It really means a lot when it happens.

That got Cameron and I to thinking. Cameron mentioned there was this site Patreon that was sort of like a Kickstarter crowdfunding site, but it was more geared to the arts, where people can be micro-patrons of an artist who is creating work that they appreciate. They can give a buck a month, ten bucks at a time, whatever they wanted to do.

I could go on and on about how I feel about crowdfunding sites. I understand that every once in awhile a really cool project gets the funding it deserves, and that's great. What I don't like is how it has become this crutch that people rely on - give me money to succeed and I'll try to succeed!

So it's hard for me to set up a crowdfunding site like this, but I recognize that there are some out there who might want to show a little support to our newspaper.

As I said before, the Reader always has been free and it always will be free. From time to time, some of these kind souls who donate to us say, "I'd gladly pay if you charged per issue."

Think of this Patreon page as a way to give a virtual subscription to the Reader. Seriously, anything will help. $1 per month, $5 per month. We do this because we love it, not because we're getting rich off of it. But, as any small business owner can attest to, there are times when I can't even pay myself, and that is always difficult to rationalize after putting in another tough day.

Any donations you make to the Reader will go into the future of our paper. We've hired a staff writer, a recent graduate from the University of Idaho, Lyndsie Kiebert. We'd like to purchase a few snazzy racks and newspaper boxes to place around town. We'd also like to bring a live concert series to Farmin Park every Tuesday in summer, which is a plan we're working on now. 

Thanks to all of you who continue to support an informed community. We appreciate you and we appreciate any help you can give.
$500 - reached! per month
We call this the "pay the rent" goal. When we reach this goal, we'll be able to pay our rent every month without tapping into our sole source of revenue, advertisements.
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