What would Orlando be without the pages of Orlando Weekly? Whether it’s the piercing observations and commentary of the late, iconic Billy Manes in “Happytown” as he sat in on City of Orlando Council meetings, or Faiyaz Kara’s quirky gastronomic adventures into Orlando’s far-flung restaurants and mom-and-pop shops, or the annual “Best of Orlando” that gives us a list of local Orlando businesses and restaurants to try out for the next year – without these pages, we would be missing out on so much that makes Orlando the City Beautiful.
The free, fiercely independent Orlando Weekly is the quintessential local’s guide to Orlando for so many transplants like myself who have come from all over the world to find home here in Central Florida. Inside its pages, the stories can be at times offbeat and irreverent, and sometimes, particularly in its investigations into Orlando’s underbelly of injustices, it can be explosive, inspiring change in our community.
Today, people depend on journalism from Orlando Weekly and other local media outlets in order to be informed of what’s happening in our communities – playing a vital role in our democratic society. If knowledge is power, journalism and outlets like Orlando Weekly provide power to the people – information and knowledge that empowers us to decide how we spend our time, what matters to us, and what the world is like – so that perhaps we, the reader, can make the decisions to make the world what it can potentially be.
For over 30 years, we have depended so much on Orlando Weekly and its writers and staff, to stay informed and to be entertained. Today, the changing financial landscape has created a need for new economic models to keep Orlando Weekly sustainable. For several years now, local newspapers and magazines find it harder and harder to survive with less revenue from the advertising dollars that increasingly are spent on decidedly “not news” outlets such as Facebook and Google. It’s gotten even bleaker with the current lockdown situation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If you find value in the voices of Orlando Weekly, in the value these pages bring to our Orlando’s arts, culture, entertainment, music, dining and nightlife communities – and if you have the privilege and ability to – I encourage you to join me in donating today and becoming a sustaining member in the new Orlando Weekly Press Club. It’s a donation to thank Orlando Weekly for all it has done for us through the years, and an investment in the future of our city – making our independent local journalism sustainable for now and years to come.
Ricky Ly is a graduate of the University of Central Florida currently working as a civil engineer in Orlando. He is the founder of the massively popular local food blog TastyChomps.com, and currently serves the community as a board member for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
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