Weld, 'Birmingham's newspaper,' has suspended print but is still online
In February, Weld — a free, for-profit weekly in Birmingham, Alabama — launched a crowdfunding campaign and rebranded itself "Weld: Birmingham’s Newspaper."
On Wednesday, the publication suspended print, according to a note from publisher Mark Kelly.
As of July 13, 2017, Weld is suspending publication of its weekly newspaper until further notice. This suspension is expected to be temporary, as the company completes ongoing discussions regarding its future and the future of print journalism in Birmingham. In the meantime, Weld will continue to provide new content on its website, weldbham.com.
The crowdfunding campaign aimed to raise $300,000 in a year. In February, Weld had raised $7,320 from 71 people. As of July, according to GoFundMe, it's raised $12,010 from 116 people.
The weekly is similar to many news sites in cities around the country that have risen up to fill the space left by contracting local media. It faces many of the same challenges, too — including survival.
Poynter reached out to Weld for comment and we'll update when we hear back. In February, Kelly was confident in the future of the ambitious news organization. Still, he said then, it was a bit of an existential moment.
If you’re asking the community the question, 'is this valuable to you as a member of the community and to the community as a whole?' if we don’t get enough yeses, then it's very incumbent on us to decide at that point what does make sense.