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A letter from our editor

We started Westword more than four decades ago as a very vigorous exercise in freedom of the press. Not only did we believe that our writers should be free to cover, and uncover, what was really going on in Denver, but we wanted to share their work freely with the city, by making sure that the publication itself was absolutely free.

Continue Reading editor photo

Back then, there were few free newspapers, and those that existed were denigrated as “shoppers.” We worked hard to prove that a free publication could have value, ensuring that every issue included can’t-miss stories. It was a long fight, but one we were winning long before the rise of the Internet, which brought with it the notion that “information should be free.” Today, no one questions the value of free publications.

But they do question how long those publications will be around, and with good reason.

Local journalism is under siege across the United States, as tech giants suck up the lion's share of online revenue. We've tried to make up the difference with new advertising models on desktop and mobile, including auto-play video. But staffing a top-notch newsroom like ours is expensive.

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Every day, we publish a robust mix of locally reported stories on westword.com, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our deep dives into big issues.

But just as our loyal readers are very vocal about what they like about Westword, they’re very vocal about what they don’t like. And lately, we’re hearing this a lot: Why is it so hard to read Westword online?

Now I have a new answer: It doesn’t have to be. We’ve listened to you, and we have a solution. While we continue to rely on our advertisers to fund our local journalism, we also recognize that some people would like a faster, smoother reading experience, and might be willing to pay a small amount to enjoy that kind of access while supporting our work. So starting immediately, if you become a member of the Westword community by pledging to make a monthly or annual cash contribution, you’ll be able to read an absolutely ad-free version of westword.com. If you’d rather not go ad-free, you can also help us keep community-focused journalism alive in Denver by making a one-time cash contribution or signing up for one or more of our email newsletters.

Those of you who make financial contributions will also have the option to hear from me now and then. Once you’ve contributed, an option will appear on your member profile page allowing you to opt-in to receive occasional newsletters regarding some of the Westword stories you’ve already read, as well as developments at Westword itself.

And for everyone else? Westword will continue to be free...like all the very best things in life.

sig PATRICIA CALHOUN
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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Monthly contributions are billed each month and annual contributions are billed once a year. Refunds will be accepted within 14 days of the sign up date, you can update your account by access the account profile page. By proceeding, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions.

Monthly contributions are billed each month and annual contributions are billed once a year. You can change how much you give or cancel your contributions at any time by accessing your profile page.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.