Hello, Eastsider readers!
I have good news today. The Eastsider has been selected as one of more than 200 news organization that will receive a Facebook COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund Grant.
I'm stunned and grateful for this lifeline as our main source of revenue -- ad sales -- has come to a near standstill. We work hard to bring you news and information about your communities, and it is nice to have this added support.
More than two dozen California newsrooms will receive over $2.2 million in grants through the Facebook relief fund, which is part of the social media company's ongoing efforts to support the news business during the pandemic. In addition to The Eastsider, several other L.A. area news organizations also received grants, including digital-only publications, such as the Long Beach Post, as well as newspapers, such as the Rafu Shimpo and the L.A. Times.
The Eastsider's approximately $94,000 grant will be devoted to these purposes:
• Maintain and expand our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic as we enter what looks to be a slow and prolonged recovery.
• Launch a weekly newsletter focused on East Los Angeles, a community of about 125,000 that was hit hard by the closure of Eastern Group Publications, a local news source, two years ago.
• Start a small business newsletter to keep our local owners and entrepreneurs informed about recovery efforts and connected to our readers.
• Support efforts to attract more reader and advertising sponsors for long-term growth.
I plan to squeeze as much as possible out of that grant to get us through these tough times and help sustain The Eastsider for future growth. Thanks again to Facebook and to you, our readers and supporters.
As we continue to bring you local coronavirus news coverage free of charge, your financial support has never been more urgently needed. Please consider becoming an ongoing Eastsider Reader Sponsor or making a one-time contribution.
Let's get through this together.
-- Jesus Sanchez, Publisher