Recently, I had an eerie flashback to 2006. I walked into a press conference to discover I was the only one there. Eventually one other reporter showed up and it got started.

Unfortunately, I’m sometimes still the only reporter who shows up at a press conference. It happens more than anyone realizes.

But it’s always a stark reminder of why CTNewsJunkie exists.

We got started because there had been a dearth of coverage about state politics and policy from legacy news organizations as the transition to the digital age ate away advertising revenue. Reporters were laid off en masse.

I don’t want to return to those times and I know you don’t, either.

That’s why I’m asking for your help to make sure we can continue to provide the news coverage you need and deserve.

We’re not asking for much. We run a lean operation on a shoestring and we give everything we’ve got, every day, to bring you as much news as we can.

We were recently the first news organization to let you know the cameras at the Connecticut Television Network — a crucial piece of the transparency puzzle at the capitol — would go dark if an agreement could not be reached. And over the course of three days in September we were first to report that highway tolls had been added back into the budget discussion (the idea was then put back on the shelf), and we then broke the story about the addition of a cellphone surcharge to the tax package (this was also pulled from consideration).

As the negotiations dragged on we canceled our family vacation plans to bring you more than 120 days of “overtime” budget coverage throughout the summer and fall, and while nobody was looking we also revamped our website to accommodate the municipal election. More than 150 candidates filled out their profiles and answered our survey questions to help voters make their decisions in the ballot box on Nov. 7.

We also provided a break down of one of the more complicated issues of statewide significance — Hartford’s ongoing flirtation with bankruptcy.

Aside from our meat-and-potatoes coverage at the capitol, we also arrive every morning in thousands of email boxes with information about the next press conference or meeting, the top stories for the day, and a calendar of events. More than 700 of you have signed up for this free service since April. There’s also our new Washington correspondent, Peter Urban. We brought Peter on board this year to help provide a broader scope of coverage. In fact, we are one of only two news organizations in Connecticut reporting specifically on the activities of our congressional delegates every week.

If any of this has been valuable to you then we’re asking you to take a moment to set up a weekly, monthly, or annual subscription in support of independent journalism. Or you can make a one-time contribution as well.

We’ve been saying this all week but it bears repeating: There is simply no substitute for direct reader support of professional journalism. We are in an age in which advertising — which has been the primary source of revenue in support of the news industry throughout modern history — has now proliferated to the point that it is no longer scarce. As such, rates have plummeted across every medium. Thousands of news publishers are essentially facing extinction.

But you can preserve your access to our professionally reported, fact-checked news stories for less than the cost of a Grande White Chocolate Mocha each week. It’s up to you to take the initiative to preserve your own access to good information.

Are subscriptions a new concept? No, of course not. But we need readers like you to dive in and pull the trigger on any one of several plans available here. You won’t regret it. And there’s some nifty schwag available in some of our subscriptions as well — please check it out.

Thank you in advance for your support. And as always, thanks for reading!

—Christine Stuart, Editor in Chief

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