Community, Opinion & Editorial

Help save The Chronicle: 114-year-old paper needs financial support – now

A few weeks ago while attending a business-networking luncheon, a woman stood and gave a testimonial regarding The Chronicle. Sitting among business leaders positioned around long tables, I had no idea where the speaker might be going with her comments. She wasn’t an advertiser and there had been no specific coverage tied to her or her business, as far as I knew. 

“I walked by my husband the other day as he sat at our kitchen table, The Chronicle newspaper spread out beneath him,” she began. “He was staring down at the crossword puzzle, pen in hand, but he wasn’t really doing anything. As I looked closer, I saw that he was quietly in tears,” she continued, finding it difficult to keep her voice steady. “When I asked him if he was all right, he replied that he was overcome by memories of filling out the newspaper crosswords puzzles with his father, especially in his final days …” She let the anecdote trail off in her own puddle of tears. Mine, too.

Today, as certain as I’ve ever been in our mission to serve hyper-local news to communities underserved and abandoned by corporate media, I’m emotional again at the potential fate of The Chronicle. 

The challenges

Like every business, we have employees and bills to pay. The COVID-19 pandemic eliminated our two primary revenue streams – display advertising and legal notices – for more than two years. Many businesses of all kinds did not survive the public health crisis. Somehow, rather remarkably, we did. We kept people employed, covered important news in your communities, and printed the paper weekly without fail. We published breaking and/or expanded news on our digital platform, We’re engaged on social platforms – liking, sharing, and supporting residents, other businesses, and nonprofits.

We adjusted and pivoted during the pandemic. We reduced staffing, at one point having only Erin Tierney-Heggenstaller, our executive editor, on payroll. We made all public health-related content and wildfire coverage and resources on our paid website free.

The Chronicle is not unique in terms of most small businesses. We are different in our mission and purpose. A year ago, a report from Northwestern University’s journalism school stated that more than 360 newspapers in the United States have gone out of business since just before the start of the pandemic.

We’ve endured significant increases to our printing and distribution costs. In fact, in July 2021, our printer stopped publishing newspapers. Replacement parts and skilled labor for the newsprint presses are in short supply these days. We had no choice but to find another printer, over in Klamath Falls. Like all of you, we’ve noticed the increase in postage, too. It’s how we distribute most of our newspapers.

The bottom line folks, is that we need your help. And now is the time. 

If you’ve ever thought about supporting your community newspaper – now is the time.

If you’ve ever thought about supporting a free press, and by extension, democracy – now is the time.

If you’ve ever wondered why your bank or credit union, or favoite local store, doesn’t advertise in The Chronicle, ask them. Or encourage them to do so. Now is the time.

If you’ve ever valued reading about your family, friends and neighbors, local business owners, students and youth sports, public health, public safety, nonprofit organizations, and other aspects of life in your community – now is the time.

The Chronicle Foundation

There is good news on this front. We have established The Chronicle Foundation – a nonprofit that uses 100% of its funds to support coverage of education and the nonprofit communities in the southern Willamette Valley. Our Articles of Incorporation and our Bylaws spell out our mission in clear terms. If you would like to make a donation, please make your check out to The Chronicle Foundation and mail or drop off at 655 A St., Suite E, Springfield, OR 97477.

Our paper’s value proposition has always been “unique and differentiating content – hyper-local news.” There is no “commodity news” in The Chronicle. Readers won’t find our content anywhere else. We also deliver that content with journalistic credibility. 

We are grateful for longtime supporters. Linda at Copy-Rite, Jessica at Farmlands, Rory at Point S in Creswell, Carol at The Flower Basket, Gail at The Bookmine, Aaron at Sanipac, to name only a few. More recently, Jason at Prime Time Sports Bar & Grill, Ike with Olsson Industrial Electric, and Jason and Kim at BEST roofing. 

Readers have sent us raves for years. 

Mike wrote: “The Chronicle reminds Creswell, Cottage Grove, and Springfield that we share a common interest in enhancing the success and vitality of our small communities. Great work, Chronicle staff.”

Jeannie wrote: “I have lived in Springfield over 60 years. What I have really appreciated is the coverage of the southern Lane County area. I’m fascinated to learn how diversified Creswell, Cottage Grove, etc. are. I wish to continue to learn about my neighboring cities, people, businesses and events.”

Lori wrote: “Local journalism is one of the only ways that citizens can really know what is going on in local government. I am impressed with your dedication to covering all the local news.”

We’ve heard from people touched by obituaries we published, hard news stories, in-depth profiles of key stakeholders and difference-makers in our communities. I’ve never seen such an outpouring of appreciation from readers before. It’s inspiring for sure.

We need you

The Chronicle’s credentials over the past four-plus years? We’ve been recognized by our industry peers as the most-awarded paper in Oregon during that time – more than 40 ONPA Better Newspaper Contest honors. In February 2023, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce named us its Business of the Year. We dedicated tens of thousands of dollars to high school sports and education coverage; the same with nonprofits in our areas.

To go along with the launch of the Foundation – in our 114th birthday month going back to our founding in September 1909 – we are offering a  special promotion: Buy a subscription for only $19.09 for the next two weeks, through Sept. 21. After the special promotion price, our rates will increase to $47 a year or $94 for two years, and $41 a year and $82 for two years for seniors and veterans. We hope you’ll at least “round up” those numbers with a donation to The Chronicle Foundation.

What we do is for you. The fact is, it wouldn’t be possible without you. 

If you’ve ever thought that you like your local paper – now is the time.

Noel Nash is owner and publisher of The Chronicle. You can reach him at [email protected].

What you can do…

The Chronicle Foundation provides a tax-deductible way for you to support your community newspaper. No matter the amount, you can make a one-time payment or set up a monthly, recurring gift.
Donate here:

There are several ways to consume our unique hyper-local content. We offer a weekly newspaper, a website in, social media pages on FB and IG that include video and audio, and various magazines and special sections throughout the year. Get the paper, subscribe for online access, or both!

We offer local businesses across all sectors and of all sizes a low barrier to advertise; you know your dollars and your message is reaching local residents and staying and strengthening our local community. 

Have experience in Sales, office / clerical work, photography, social media, or more? We have opportunities in all of those areas to help sustain our business and serve readers.


Chronicle staff are an integral part of the community, always out and about, engaging with community members and telling their stories. See a gallery of our staff working hard to bring you hyper-local news below.



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