Why I subscribe to the Ann Arbor Chronicle (part 2)

I’ve written before about why I subscribe to the Ann Arbor Chronicle. As of today, my Ann Arbor Chronicle Number is 10. That’s the number of months I’ve been sending a modest donation to the Chronicle. The data comes from this page which also gives me the Chronicle Number of some other Ann Arborites I’ve met in my travels there:

23 Bill Tozier
32 Peter Honeyman
50 Linda Feldt

Here’s a chart showing the growth in numbers of donors per month1:

The Chronicle’s evolving policy on donation — and disclosure thereof — is, like everything else about the publication, thoughtful and nuanced.

I have two reasons to hope that the trend shown in that chart1 will continue. One is professional. The Chronicle was the first publication to adopt the web of events model that I am trying to establish more widely. So the Chronicle’s success helps me advance that cause.

The other reason is personal. Though I’m a refugee from journalism I care deeply about it. I wish the kind of journalism practiced by the Chronicle on behalf of Ann Arbor could happen in my town. And in yours.

I’m glad there’s a foundation chartered to help journalism reinvent itself. But while I deem the Chronicle eminently worthy of funding from that source it has thus far received none. And maybe that’s a good thing. Over the long run only broad community support will be sustainable. So I hope the Chronicle achieves that, and shows other communities the way.

1 July 2013 notwithstanding. But maybe as of today, August 1, the July data remains incomplete?

2 The spreadsheet behind the chart is here. And the code that created the spreadsheet is here:

import re

f = open('donors.txt')
s = f.read()
s = s.replace('\n\n','\n')
months = re.findall('\d{4,4}.+', s)
lists = re.split('\d{4,4}.+', s)
lists = lists[1:]
assert ( len(months) == len(lists) )

for i in range(len(months)):
  s = lists[i]
  s = s.strip('\n')
  l = s.split('\n')
  print ( '%3s\t%s' % ( len(l), months[i]) )

date copied/pasted from http://annarborchronicle.com/subscribe/ 
looks like this:

2013 July
Linda Diane Feldt
Nancy Quay
Jeremy Peters
Bruce Amrine
Mary Hathaway
Katherine Kahn
Sally Petersen
2013 June

output looks like this:

 93	2013 July
117	2013 June
120	2013 May
120	2013 April

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One thought on “Why I subscribe to the Ann Arbor Chronicle (part 2)

  1. Jon, thanks for your analysis! You’re right – I enter the subscriber names manually, and there’s sometimes a lag in updating that file. The July listing is now finished. Also related to the human touch, there’s some inconsistency in the entries. For example, Bill Tozier has been a subscriber since late 2008, but I initially entered his name as “William Tozier.” Why did I change? I have no idea. But that kind of thing results in a skewed Chronicle Number for him and possibly others. In Bill’s case, it would be higher.

    Finally, thanks for your own subscription support, your kind words about our publication, and your work on the events model that’s truly transformational and one that I hope will be widely adopted. My Number 1 delight since launching The Chronic has been to make unexpected connections with people like you.


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