We can’t believe it, but this Wednesday, June 12, marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of The Ithaca Voice.

In that time we’ve grown. We’ve struggled. We’ve innovated. And we’ve worked diligently every day to become the news source you can rely on for timely, unbiased, locally focused journalism. Our small staff has always been dedicated to covering the news that means the most to our community. We’re there at local government meetings, at court proceedings, rallies, groundbreakings, construction sites, and wherever news is happening.

As we’ve grown these five years, we’ve been bucking a trend.

“The greatest crisis in American journalism is the death of local news,” New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet told the International News Media Association World Congress of News Media last month. “Their economic model is gone. I think most local newspapers in America are going to die in the next five years… I don’t know what the answer is, but I think that everybody who cares about news — myself included, and all of you — should take this on as an issue.”

From left, Devon Magliozzi, Michael Serino, Kelsey O’Connor and Dustin Patte. Plus canine correspondents Elmore, Finnegan, and Mr. Buttons, respectively. (Rae Harris/The Ithaca Voice)
From left, Devon Magliozzi, Michael Serino, Kelsey O’Connor and Dustin Patte. Plus canine correspondents Elmore, Finnegan, and Mr. Buttons, respectively. (Rae Harris/The Ithaca Voice)

We believe the answer lies in nonprofit news, supported by local communities and provided free of charge — no subscription fees or paywalls. It’s a new model, but it’s gaining a foothold in cities and towns whose citizens recognize the value of fast, informative, insightful local news and are committed to making that journalism possible. People like you, our readers and supporters.

As luck would have it, June 12 is also this year’s Giving is Gorges Day in Ithaca, the annual 24-hour online celebration of the spirit of philanthropy in our area. So we’re marking our birthday by launching our June fundraising campaign, and we are asking for your help to continue and strengthen our work. Our goal is concrete: to raise at least $5,000 to increase our pool of freelancers — community-based journalists and writers — to deepen our coverage. We want to bring you more of the kind of community journalism you’ve come to expect from The Voice, as well as provide opportunities for local writers, photographers, and videographers.

Visit our Giving is Gorges page here to contribute. To everyone who has contributed these past five years, thank you for making it possible for us to do what we do.

Sincerely,

The Ithaca Voice Staff