Dear Fellow U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) Members:

I offer a heartfelt thanks to Morgan Williams, our president, for letting me explain the Kyiv Post’s situation.

First of all, the loss of lives and livelihoods to COVID-19 is devastating and everyone’s top priority is, of course, to prevent any more deaths.

As many of you know, the economic damage is also mounting. For newspapers all over the world, including ours, the pandemic has delivered a shattering blow. It’s now being called an “extinction event.” It’s certainly a paradox: Readership is high, revenue is low.

Why is this? Before the coronavirus, we depended on print advertising and organization of events for 75% of our revenue. Those sources are mostly gone for the duration of the quarantine in Ukraine, which started on March 12 and is likely to last for at least two months.

Advertisers aren’t buying, distribution locations are closed, and events are cancelled. We stopped the printed edition on March 27 for the first time ever. Revolution, recession and war never stopped us before -- but the coronavirus did.

We are fortunate to have online subscriptions, now our main source of revenue. Direct support from readers is the only viable business strategy for most news organizations. The New York Times, the industry leader, has 5 million digital subscribers. Their basic rate is $180 per year.

Our aims and needs are much more modest. Our digital subscriptions cost only $45 a year. Subscribers receive a PDF replica of our weekly printed version and access to all of our articles, including archives dating back to 1995. Moreover, subscribers enjoy an advertising-free website and are able to join the discussion in our commentary section.

This is not a question of making money from tragedy. This is a question of survival. Some argue that journalism is such an important public service that the news should be free. Well, yes and no. I agree that journalism is an important public service, but unlike other public services, it comes with no government funding.

KYIV POST- UKRAINE'S GLOBAL VOICE FOR 25 YEARS

The Kyiv Post has been Ukraine’s Global Voice for 25 years. We are proud of our service and our editorial independence.

So far, I have not had to lay off anyone. But we understand the need for sacrifice, which is why we have taken very substaintial pay cuts. effective April 1.

The question is whether the Kyiv Post will be around to provide coverage of the next crisis, the next revolution or the next war. Every dollar spent on a Kyiv Post subscription helps us field a strong team of journalists who work around the clock in multiple languages to tell the truth about Ukraine. It’s hard to put a price tag on supporting independent journalism, but $45 a year is definitely not too much.

We are confident that, with your support, we will continue to serve Ukraine for many years to come. The subscription link is here. I encourage all of you to contact me anytime. 

Brian Bonner
Chief Editor
Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine

USUBC FOOTNOTE: The Kyiv Post is a long-time member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Wash, D.C., www.USUBC.org

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