The Topanga Messenger has been around since 1976. And it plans to stay around with the help of a web presence, which it just launched today.
Almost a year ago, we had some decisions to make regarding the Messenger’s future. We looked at our options and bit the bullet: we would maintain the print edition for as long as our readers and advertisers found value in it (forever, we hope) and make the investment to expand our web presence with a dynamic, interactive design.
Our vision is that the Messenger will no longer merely survive but thrive enough to maintain our print edition and provide a living wage to those of us dedicated to sustaining it as an essential part of Topanga’s raison d’etre.
The Messenger will provide free access to the site for the rest of 2011, but plans to launch a subscriber-only paywall in 2012. Interestingly, paper subscribers won’t be given free access to the site. They’ll have to pay “a few dollars more a year.” The Messenger is treating the website as an entirely new product, instead of a desperate 2-for-1 attempt to convince people to buy the paper. We’re curious to see how it works out.