Here’s how a CVC audit can boost your ad sales

No ad sale begins until you hear the first objection. Have you heard any of these? •I don’t think you have as much circulation as you say •I don’t think that people who read your paper are the type who shop at my store •Nobody reads newspapers any more •People read newspapers for news, not

What you’re missing when you try to sell ads to national chains

You’ve tried to sell advertising to the manager of the store that’s a part of a national or regional chain. And you’ve been told, “I don’t make those advertising decisions here.  I’ll give you the contact information for our regional office.”  You emailed and you called, but you either got no reply at all or

How to bring the presidential election home to your readers

Tip O’Neill famously observed that all politics is local. A good community newspaper believes that and acts upon it. Some races are obviously local – the ballot choices for mayor, city council, county commission and state representative are populated by people you know, people who shop alongside you, people you see at Rotary and church.

Social media is not a ‘private playground’ for journalists; newspapers need social media policies

Social media give journalists an audience bigger than they ever dreamed of. You work for a paper with a circulation of 4,000? On social media, your audience can number in the hundreds of thousands … or more. Then why do so many journalists treat social media like a private space in which they can say

Why community papers should be reporting on deaths from drug overdoses

This blog, used by permission of Ken Blum, originally appeared in Blum’s email newsletter, Black Inklings. You can join the Black Inklings mailing list by emailing your name, job title, newspaper and email address to A question. If a person in your community passed away for any of the following reasons, would you report

Newsletters are hot, and they can be a great tool for community newspapers

Newsletters are one of the oldest forms of communication in journalism. They even pre-date newspapers, with the first newsletter coming out in 1538.  The first American newspaper to publish a second edition started its life as the Boston News-letter. They have increased and decreased in popularity over the years, but everything that’s old is indeed

It’s open season on journalists, and that’s bad news for everybody

(Editor’s note:  Randall King is a former professional journalist who now teaches at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana.  This blog is used by permission of the Indianapolis Star, where it appeared earlier this month.) I don’t know who will win the presidential race this November, but I know who has already lost 2016: the

Always look twice at stories reporting polling results

During our daily research for The Rural Blog, our daily digest of events, trends, issues, ideas and journalism from and about rural America, we came across a press release from the Texas teachers’ union, headlined “One-third of teachers moonlight to support families.” My blogger wrote an item that began, “Thirty-one percent of Texas teachers have

Stop backing in to leads: how to make your writing more reader-friendly

Reporters on deadline often forget two essential truths of journalism: 1. We’re not just writing to pass along our information – we’re writing to be read. So we need to package our story for maximum readability. In other words, think about the reader. 2. Readers don’t have much time, and often they don’t have a commitment to read

You can cover the presidential race without ever leaving town

At many community newspapers, treatment of the presidential election may be limited to online polls of your readers’ opinions, or their letters. But this is a race for president like no other, where facts and issues have taken a far back seat to entertainment, personality and character assassination, and it’s unlikely to get better now