This is the biggest challenge the Weston Mercury has ever faced. We are asking for your help to overcome it,

Weston Lions Club Go Kids Go! presentations. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Weston Lions Club Go Kids Go! presentations. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

Dear reader

Have you heard the phrase ‘news desert’? It has been coined in America to describe what is left behind when a newspaper closes down and the community it served is suddenly left without a source of credible and comprehensive news and information.

You can guess what happens next in those places when the vital scrutiny that a campaigning, investigative local newspaper provides is gone; when no-one is there to shine a light on that which is hidden from the public.

I’m determined that Weston will never become a news desert – and I need your help to stop it happening.

That’s why I’m asking you to give your financial support to our work. You can contribute any amount you like, as a one-off or a recurring contribution.

Why am I asking this now?

More of you are reading the Mercury than ever before, and increasingly that is on your mobile phones, tablets and laptops rather than in print.

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We are delighted to serve so many of you – but please understand that trusted journalism costs money to produce, and the money we make from digital page views is a fraction of that from paper sales.

Our advertising revenues have also been hit by the tech giants, many of whom pay little or no tax here.

Still, we are determined to continue to keep fighting for you and our area.

In recent years, the Mercury has worked with Weston MP John Penrose to campaign for fairer funding for the area’s schools, health services, the police and North Somerset Council.

We have helped to give out more than £75,000 to youth groups through the Go Kids Go scheme, which we run with Weston Lions.

The Mercury also ran a successful Books For Schools campaign, where we donated 2,000 books to primary schools across the district.

So please help us with a contribution to supporting award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Every single gesture of support will help us make sure Weston does not become a news desert.

Thank you

Vicky Angear