Cedar Street Times
|Editor||Marge Ann Jameson|
|Headquarters||311A Forest Ave
Pacific Grove, California
Cedar Street Times is the weekly newspaper in Pacific Grove, California. Originally established as an online publication, it became a print version when its founder, Marge Ann Jameson, determined that it would be easier to drive readers to an upstart online version if one had an upstart print version. That was in September 2008.
Since then, with a couple of hiccups in the first six months, the newspaper has been published weekly ever since and was adjudicated a newspaper of general circulation in July, 2010.
Believing that Pacific Grove – like all communities – needs a fair and unbiased, regular source of local news by, for and about the citizens of the community, the newspaper strives to provide the most comprehensive coverage of the City of Pacific Grove available, with no agenda other than the truth. The newspaper even refuses to publish letters that do not have a basis in truth.
Submissions by young authors and photographers as well as seasoned veteran writers and contributors are encouraged. Cedar Street Times has regular columnists; rotated so that different ideas are presented with each new issue. This ensures a diverse readership, in the belief of the publisher.
All city council meetings and many committee meetings, as well as the business improvement district meetings are attended, either by the publisher or one of the stringers or reporters. The publisher is on the board of the B.I.D. and the Feast of Lanterns and is a member of Friends of Gateway Center.
While some other local newspapers attempt to be all things to all people on the Monterey Peninsula, they simply cannot fill the need for stories about Pacific Grove politics, local celebrations, and the people who make Pacific Grove unique. Space considerations alone can be said to account for this lack in other area newspapers, but Cedar Street Times devotes its space entirely to Pacific Grove.
Web vs. print
While a web magazine would be one answer to the need for “Pacific Grove-centric” information, newsprint is still the method of choice. A physical news product is believed by industry auditors to reach more than four people per copy. Newspapers are shared and saved and clipped. Advertising, which could be considered to be paid news, is more prominent in a physical product than a virtual one. Pacific Grove has a large population of senior citizens for whom the Internet is not an option (an estimated 15 percent of the population is believed to be non-web savvy) but they still participate, they shop, and they vote. The 2000 census gives a figure of 19% for citizens over the age of 65. 2010 census figures are due in February 2011.
Cedar Street Times readers tend to be active, no matter their age. They want to know about events and issues. A good portion of the newspaper is devoted to upcoming events and reviews of plays, musicals, books and art shows.
Weekly newspapers are the only growing niche in print journalism. Major daily newspapers, attempting to service the debt cause by repeated turnover of ownership and divestiture of local publications, have been reduced to bare-bones reporting and dependence on wire services. Operating expenses do not go down; they almost invariably go up in the long run. Advertising rates of dailies have skyrocketed with the result that most of the businesses in small towns have been priced out of advertising with the local daily newspaper. A local weekly newspaper can compete in a niche where large products cannot.
Cedar Street Times is distributed at the senior living establishments, as well as at the Pacific Grove High School. Cedar Street Times has a some 200 e-mail subscribers who used to live in Pacific Grove and want to stay in touch, and others who are planning to move to the Peninsula or live there on a part-time basis.
Cedar Street Times is a free "pick-up" newspaper. It is distributed from around 120 spots, including hospitalities, restaurants, and newsstands. There are distribution points in Pebble Beach, Carmel, Seaside and Monterey as well as in Pacific Grove. There are people who go out of their way to come by the newspaper office to pick up the paper.
Industry auditors estimate readership at 4 times for publications which are distributed free as “pick-ups” and subscription publications. The reason for this is that people choose the publication. Cedar Street Times is unaudited at present as it is a new publication, but the publisher reports that the number of email subscribers is growing as is general interest in the publication.