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Friends group works to keep local paper going

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* The ethical choice
* The numbers quantify the need
* Readers flock to
* Let’s talk about community involvement
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ROCKINGHAM — A group of friends and supporters of The Pee Dee Post sat around a modern dining table inside a home built in the 1800s in Rockingham on Sunday afternoon brainstorming ways to keep the local daily newspaper going.

supportKevin Spradlin, owner and managing editor for, announced the suspension of news-gathering operations on Feb. 15 and gave a March 1 deadline by which to determine if the business would resume normal operations or close down.

During the two-week suspension, the Post continues to publish obituaries, news releases and update its Events Calendar.

Work to raise the funds needed to keep the doors open is ongoing. An online campaign through which readers can contribute as little as $3 or as much as $100 (or more) has been established. Spradlin said it’ll take $5,000 to keep the doors open.

Susanne McInnis is one of 47 people who have contributed a total of more than $1,150 through Monday morning. More than 70 percent of that has been raised since the Feb. 15 suspension.

McInnis, of Rockingham, said she’s come to rely on The Pee Dee Post for its “objective, accurate and timely reporting.”‘

The Post, McInnis said, is “what I want in a newspaper. That’s why I contributed to keep The Pee Dee Post here.”

Fellow “Friends” nodded their heads in agreement.

To make your contribution, click here to pay by credit card online or send a check or money order to:

The Pee Dee Post
301 E. Washington St.
Rockingham, NC 28379



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  • Gunny Hogue

    I’ve enjoyed the Pee Dee Post and I’d like to see it succeed, but as a fellow veteran, I can’t donate to a for-profit business when there are so many others with true needs. An able-bodied man shouldn’t ask for a handout when he falls behind, he should put his nose to the grindstone and work harder. Buck up, Soldier! Get out there and earn the money through advertising sales. If you are taking 2 weeks off from posting to your site, you should be beating the street from sunrise to sunset!

    • Kevin Spradlin

      It’s not at all uncommon for media outlets to request support from consumers of the news they produce. Think of a traditional newspaper’s paid subscriptions or rack sales, or NPR’s annual campaigns for listener contributions (the former a for-profit example, the latter a non-profit approach).

      As for what else we do with the money – we support local people and events (a minister on a mission trip to Haiti, the community theater, the Raider Marching Band and much, much more). Check out

      The Pee Dee Post lacks one major thing both traditional print newspapers and nonprofits alike enjoy – government subsidies. If this venture can survive being privately funded, then we’ll be more of a success story than either of us could ever imagine; the Post would become a model for the industry to consider.

      At this point, we are seeking voluntary contributions from individuals who see a value in a timely and accurate daily news source. Once we reach $5,000, the campaign doesn’t go away (but the daily requests will).

      Think about this. Your local paper might charge you $120 a year (give or take) to deliver the news to your front porch 5 days a week – and your neighbors aren’t allowed to have access to your paper. We’re asking each of our 40,094 monthly readers to consider giving roughly 12 cents — which will ensure access to timely and accurate news 7 days a week to all who want to learn more about Richmond County news and events.

      We’ve had 3 contributors give a total of $450 — covering themselves and roughly 14,997 fellow readers.

      We began the online campaign in October – before we needed the public’s help. In 3 months, the campaign drew $250 in contributions. Since Feb. 15, when normal operations were suspended, the campaign has attracted a little over $1,000.

      But the bottomline here is this: I started this on a shoestring budget on April 28, 2014 – having walked away from a guaranteed paycheck in order to practice journalism the way I felt it should be done, the way I felt readers deserve. I’m out of shoestring.

      If you ever want to visit me at the office, at 301 E. Washington St., please call ahead and I’ll set some time aside to walk you through a normal day at The Pee Dee Post. That invitation is open to anyone.

      • YiaYia

        Thanks for the invitation to visit, although we didn’t see it until we had already interrupted your day! We so appreciate your contributions to our community by providing a news source like no other. Keep up the good work and we’ll continue to spread the word.

  • Bo Frye

    The people of Richmond County should do all they can to keep this online newspaper going. Articles, news and discussions have been printed on the Pee Dee Post that would have never been allowed to be printed otherwise. This is a locally owned news source that is controlled by the readers and advertisers. News sources owned by outside groups or corporations control what news or articles are printed here and which way the reporting leans. I believe Kevin Spradlin will investigate and print what we need or should know that goes on in and around our county, good or bad. Just give me the true facts. I will form my own opinion.

    • Terry ward

      I wouldike all my listeners to give me 100 dollars each. Why not do as your competitors do sell the product. You use an unfair example as you dont deliver your paper or take it to the boxes. Really like the npr though, I would like to beg folks to give as you have. It’s the age of the future, get someone else to pay for your product and reap the benefits . I think it’s called CAPITALISM. Just get you a salesman and quick begging and sell the BLOG you brag so much about.

      • Kevin Spradlin

        Mr. Ward, thank you ever so much for taking the time to chime in with your opinion.

        Part of what you write – I have to admit, I don’t understand. I do get the idea that you’re not necessarily supportive of the public campaign to keep The Pee Dee Post privately funded through voluntary contributions.

        Regardless, your comment here serves as another example that has become the go-to place for public discussion on a wide number of issues, including local business. Thank you for helping to prove my point.


    • Bo Frye

      Terry I agree to a point. I listen to WAYN and love what I hear on certain programs, others I don’t pay any attention to. There are people, groups and organizations that don’t want anyone to question anything done in this county, much less print it in the local newspaper or internet paper, especially involving local government. These groups also control advertisers that would support or not support a new means of communication or print, especially if he printed the facts but certain groups did not like what he printed. This could hamper selling advertising. Kevin has printed articles and questioned people and things that have never been questioned before and some did not like it. I don’t know why he left his former media employer but I have known others that left because they were not allowed to print certain articles. We desperately need open, honest, factual reporting in this county and I hope that enough others feel the same way to help keep this additional source of information. Some of what is said and done and printed locally is not the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth.

  • NPR Member

    Im a Sustaining Member of WFAE and I dont see a lot of similarities between your blog and NPR. But lets play along……because it operates as a public trust, NPR releases all its financials. Are you willing to do the same? You said in another comment that you dont have any employees, just independent cotractors. Im curious as to how many legitimate expenses a one person blog can really have. Is all this money people are donating to you somehow being “invested” in the PDP? How will it make your product better? Or is this just really about Kevin Spradlin getting paid? How much of that DONATED money will go into your PERSONAL pocket? Inquiring minds wanna know, so if you really think PDP is NPR, Im waiting on your financial records.

    • Kevin Spradlin

      Dear NPR Member, please visit me at the office, at 301 E. Washington St., Rockingham, and I’ll be happy to show you all you want to know despite the fact that the PDP is a private entity. You’ll be surprised at how far we stretch a dollar (and you might consider converting your contributions from NPR to PDP).

      What do you think NPR and stations like WFAE do with the funds you donate? Do you think they do anything other than pay bills – utilities, software, hardware, building lease, administrative expenses, salaries, etc.? In fact, they do – they go to pay for the non-local corporate infrastructure that doesn’t benefit anyone close to Richmond County (or NC, for that matter).

      Short of federal and state tax, revenue generated by the PDP – regardless of how we come by it – stays local. We live here, work here, change corporate policy here … and have business meetings at our local offices and local homes.

      I realize the likelihood of you appearing on the doorsteps is slim to none, but the door, so to speak, is open. Please call ahead, at 910-331-4130, as the PDP does not have regular officer hours.

      Kevin Spradlin

      301 E. Washington St.

      Rockingham NC 28379


      • Bo Frye

        Talk about TRANSPARENCY, my goodness gracious me!

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