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Q I want to dig in to your work with crowdfunding but to get
started, can you please give me a thumbnail of your
media company and your personal career path in our industry?
A As the largest independently-owned newspaper group in
Canada, with more than 170 titles in print and online,
Black Press has operations in British Columbia, Alberta and
Washington state, as well as the Honolulu (Hawaii) Star-Advertis-
er, Akron (Ohio) Beacon-Journal and San Francisco (Calif.) Exam-
iner daily newspapers.
Black Press is home to some of the oldest, most trusted com-
munity newspapers in North America. Market by market these
are the leading newspapers in their communities. The company
has 3,500 employees, and newsrooms with history dating back to
In print and online, our urban, suburban and rural newspa-
pers provide clients a superior blend of localized news coverage
and unmatched integrated marketing solutions. We invest in
relevant journalism that affects the communities we serve.
In all corners of B.C., throughout Puget Sound, Ohio, Hawaii
and Central Alberta, Black Press titles are widely read in vibrant,
Black Press is administered and majority owned by David H.
Black of Victoria, B.C .
2015 marks a benchmark for me with Black Press. It will be
twenty years. During that time I have managed multiple news-
papers in southern B.C . and am currently based in Abbotsford as
publisher at The Abbotsford News, Mission Record and General
Manager of the Abbotsford Press Centre. I am also excited to
play a key role in Black Press digital development. I am fortunate
to work with a creative team that have garnered more than 100
industry awards in the last four years including multiple awards
for innovation. Previously to arriving in Canada, I spent 10 years
in management working for regional and rural newspapers in the
Q When we exchanged hellos at the Local Media Innovation
Conference in early October you were extremely en-
thused about the brand new crowdfunding initiative your
company was launching on that very day. Tell us about it.
A There is no doubt that print continues to be king when
you are discussing community media and that will
continue as long as we focus on what readers want — great
content that is relevant!
However, in our ever-changing world of media it is imperative
that we explore more digital space. One platform that continues
to gain momentum is crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding is a way for individuals, groups and businesses
to appeal to the public to provide financial support for a cause or
Black Press has deep connections in every community served
by a local community newspaper and website, Our hyper-local
focus enables us to connect readers with people in their own
community who are in need.
In October 2014, Black Press launched its own crowdfunding plat-
form called BlackPress4Good.
Anyone can start a campaign. This can include; support for a lov-
ing pet that needs specialized care, create a campaign in memory of a
loved one, help a family member cover expenses of treatment or even
a fundraiser for a wheelchair accessible van. No matter what the need,
BlackPress4Good provides a great mechanism for fundraising.
Q What is the impetus driving BlackPress4Good and how has
the reception been so far?
A BlackPress4Good combines proven crowdfunding technology
with the valuable community exposure of your local newspa-
per. Providing an easy and effective way to raise money for what
matters to you. Powered by FundRazr, Canada’s leading crowdfunding
platform with more than $54 million raised to date.
As this digital space gained momentum, we soon realized that
Black Press could provide a means to those people wishing to start
a fundraiser. The objective is to provide a platform for our readers to
help assist with primarily local community needs.
The reception has been positive to date. Some 26 campaigns have
been launched (as at Dec 1st) with 20% of the campaigns initiated by
Black Press to establish a presence.
Q How does it work?
A Start by visiting Blackpress4good.com
Then follow these four easy steps:
1. Create your BlackPress4Good campaign for free. Tell your story
in words, pictures or videos. Start raising money in minutes.
2. Share your campaign on social media. BlackPress4Good en-
gages your supporters and grows funding.
3. Connect with your crowd . . . take them along for the journey.
Share with your fans. Keep them informed of your progress.
4. Collect secure online payments by credit card, debit or paypal.
Q You’ve been up and running for about three months now.
What’s the experience been like so far? Can you share some
details about who is signing up and any results they are seeing?
CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
Black Press Community Media
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In our ever-changing world
of media it is imperative that we
explore more digital space. One
platform that continues to gain
momentum is crowdfunding.
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