This is a big day for OBJ.
It’s a day that only happens once or twice every decade at OBJ: we are launching a new website built from the ground up.
To most readers, the website won’t look or behave that differently.
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So what’s the big deal?
This website signals a fundamental shift in our business model, something that is new in OBJ’s 26-year history.
There is a technology stack behind the website that begins a shift to a membership model at OBJ that is based on premium content.
What does that actually mean?
It means the majority of content on OBJ.ca will continue to be free. What will change is that content that is higher value (let’s call that premium news content) will be behind a paywall that requires a membership.
I know what you’re thinking. “Why do I need to start paying for something that was free for so long?” I sympathize with that thought, but let me give you three reasons that are critical to the future of OBJ.
THREE REASONS FOR CHANGE
First, journalism isn’t free. That’s not a slogan; it’s the plain truth. OBJ spends many hundreds of thousands of dollars on local journalism. At a time when most local media outlets are cutting resources, OBJ stands as a strong and resilient independent media voice. To remain economically sustainable, OBJ needs direct support from readers.
Second, OBJ’s journalism has a big local impact. We don’t often toot our own horn at OBJ, but we know that our award-winning local business journalism is absolutely vital to keep leaders connected. OBJ is part of an ecosystem that ensures news, ideas, challenges and successes are shared with local business and community leaders. That connector role needs direct support from readers.
Third, although OBJ often receives accolades for its journalism, we want to do much more. OBJ wants more coverage of our economic sectors, more coverage of important issues, more coverage of remarkable companies and people in our community. It might surprise readers to hear that OBJ only reports on a small fraction of the news. To increase our coverage, OBJ needs direct support from readers.
Here’s the deal. OBJ is asking for $9 per month with an annual commitment. That membership will make you an OBJ Insider and let you log in to the website to instantly access all premium content.
Plus, OBJ Insiders will get the printed quarterly newsmagazine, the Book of Lists and Ottawa Business Growth Survey mailed to them. We think that’s awesome value. (OBJ Insiders also get digital access to those magazines.)
Please understand that OBJ’s change will be incremental. The more OBJ Insider members, the more we will invest in premium content. If you want OBJ to thrive and continue its mission, please support us.