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Relaunch of the Betsie Current community newspaper in April 2014 in Benzie County, Michigan
Relaunch of the Betsie Current community newspaper in April 2014 in Benzie County, Michigan
54 backers pledged $3,585 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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In the spring of 2014, Northern Michigan natives Jordan Bates and Jacob Wheeler plan to relaunch the Betsie Current, a community newspaper that will cover the dynamic, tight-knit communities of Benzie County. The Betsie Current will be your go-to source for local news and events, and coverage of arts, culture and entertainment, particularly in the vibrant communities surrounding Crystal Lake — Frankfort, Beulah and Benzonia.

The paper will be distributed at area businesses, free to pick up and funded through advertisements. But we need seed money to pay for printing the first editions. We hope you’ll support this creative endeavor, and throw in a few bucks to help us relaunch the Betsie Current.

In our pages you’ll read about upcoming events such as art fairs, Fourth of July celebrations, film festivals and trivia nights at local hangouts. You’ll also find feature stories about favorite local businesses and the devoted characters who make these towns thrive, both as summer boom towns and as tight-knit communities in the fall and winter. We’ll also run magazine-style stories that analyze larger trends in our towns and in the region at large. What’s happening with the charter fishing industry, for example, or what’s happening in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore?

The Betsie Current will print approximately every two weeks during the summer and fall, but we’ll lead off with a hype edition in mid-April, before the tourism season gets going. You’ll be able to find our paper at local stores, restaurants, galleries and cafes. We’ll post occasional news all year long on our website, www.BetsieCurrent.com, where you’ll also find a thorough calendar of upcoming events.

Please support us as we re-launch what we hope will become an important community treasure. Read our pages, share our stories, contribute content, and help us get this project off the ground.

Our goal for this Kickstarter campaign is to reach $3,500. However, if we reach $6,000, we'll add Betsie Current t-shirts and bumper stickers to our online shop. If we reach $8,000, Jordan and Jacob will swim (or try to swim) across Crystal Lake. If we reach $10,000, we'll publish a Betsie Current Magazine, featuring the best stories, photos and events of 2014. And if we reach $12,000, we'll host an end-of-the-year party for the community.

Risks and challenges

This fundraising campaign is only a step in relaunching the Betsie Current. We've logged many hours, and will work countless more, before you see our first edition on newsstands around Benzie County on April 17. Over the next month we'll be selling advertisements to local businesses, corresponding with writers, photographers and designers, and seeking input from citizens and community leaders about what kind of coverage you'd like to see in our pages. There's work to do, but we feel confidence that with your community support, we can dispel the notion that print journalism is dead. On the contrary, we hope to show that a tight-knit community rallying behind a paper — financially and emotionally — is a successful model for the 21st century.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    We'll thank you by name in a 2014 print edition.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Have all the 2014 editions mailed to you. We'll thank you by name in a 2014 print edition.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Get a 1 column x 2-inch advertisement (1 issue) for you or the non-profit of your choice.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Get a 1 column x 4-inch advertisement (1 issue) for you or the non-profit of your choice.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Interview us! We'll take you out to the Stormcloud for pizza while you interview us. You'll also get a hand-painted and framed Adventurers Map of Benzie County.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Get a 1 column x 2-inch advertisement, for all 2014 issues, for you or the non-profit of your choice. And join us for an afternoon of editing the newspaper and/or an evening of putting it all together. You'll also get a hand-painted and framed Adventurers Map of Benzie County and South Manitou.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    A two-hour photo shoot with our photographer Aubrey Parker at the location of your choice (in Benzie County). Get a 1 column x 2-inch advertisement, for all 2014 issues, for you or the non-profit of your choice. And join us for an afternoon of editing the newspaper and/or an evening of putting it all together. You'll also get a hand-painted and framed Adventurers Map of Benzie County and South Manitou.

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Funding period

- (30 days)