Rafu Shimpo announced to its readers that it will stay open at least through the end of 2017.
The paper has lost $750,000 over the last three years and was projected to lose another $350,000 this year.
It had announced earlier this year it would shut down at the end of this year if it could not turn things around.
A circulation drive fell short of its goal pf 10,000 new subscriptions, but definitely helped to keep the paper going.
“With all the changes that we’ve made over the last seven months, with many more coming up in the next two months, the owners of The Rafu Shimpo have agreed to continue with the paper through the year 2017,” said Mark Nakakihara, special consultant. “Hopefully, the changes that we made and the ones that we are making will keep the paper going for many years after that. This wouldn’t be possible without thanking the publisher, Mickey Komai, and his family for allowing us to make these changes.”
Rafu is moving to beef up its online presence and working on other changes as well.
“The other thing we want to do is give advertisers a reason to advertise, so we’re working on themes or a focus … We have an anime team that came to us and offered to create an anime section, which is going to be very exciting, said Ellen Endo, former editor of Rafu who is donating her time to help save it. “You’re going to be able to sort of a taste of it in the print edition, but you’re going to want to go, if you’re an anime aficionado, to the online to see the anime in high resolution …
“The other source of revenue is the digitization of the archives. The archives go back to the early 1900s … We want people to be able to access those archives for research … and be able to, for a small fee, maybe download or print … also to be able to word-search those files.
“We want to put some effort into investigative journalism, so we want to make sure that we’re on top of key issues that are impacting the community, things like the current election.”
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