Subscriber-Donors Are the Lifeblood of Whatcom Watch

You might notice Whatcom Watch isn’t covered with ads, like some publications.

Whatcom Watch exists thanks to the names on the back page, our subscriber-donors. Last year, subscribers contributed 66 percent of our revenue, advertising was responsible for 34 percent of our revenue, and 87 percent of our subscriber revenue came in amounts of $50 or more.

Over the past 10 years, advertising as a percentage of our revenue has declined from 60 percent to close to 30 percent. As advertisers migrate from print to online websites, Google, and Facebook, the Watch becomes more dependent on individual subscriber-donors. In 2020, printing and postage totaled 40 percent of our expenses.

So, to anyone who picks up a free copy of Whatcom Watch, please consider subscribing. A subscription coupon is available on the back page of the paper. If you mail a check to Whatcom Watch, the newspaper receives the entire amount. If you subscribe through PayPal, from 5.4 percent through 3.2 percent is deducted to process your payment.

We thank the advertisers who grace our pages — we’re grateful for your support, as well. Marcia Guderian, advertising manager, does an excellent job with obtaining and maintaining advertisers, always trying to keep them content.

Our 30th year of publication will begin in May of this year, and we owe it to all of you for our continuing presence in Whatcom County. We also owe a monumental thank you to all who volunteer with Whatcom Watch: our copy editors, illustrator Hilary Cole, distributor Liz Washburn, our online manager who uploads monthly issues to our website, our board of directors, and, last but not least, writers who submit articles to Whatcom Watch.

Side note: if any writers out there have an interest in covering topics of local substance, please send us query emails to about your ideas.

If you would like to submit a letter to the editor, please see the submission guildlines on our website under “Contact.”

In essence, writers are crucial to Whatcom Watch. Without you, we’d be a blank page. Thank you to everyone.